Monday, December 13, 2010

"...left to the mercy of sunshine, soot, and shower"

This proclamation is about the poster movement in London in the 1890's but I think it's completely comparable to the PVS movement of the 2010's.

"Advertisement is an absolute necessity of modern life, and if it can be made beautiful as well as obvious, so much the better for the makers of soap and the public who are likely to wash.
The popular idea of a picture is something told in oil or writ in water to be hung on a room’s wall or in a picture gallery to perplex an artless public. No one expects it to serve a useful purpose or take a part in everyday existence. Our modern painter has merely to give a picture a good name and hang it.
Now the poster first of all justified its existence on the grounds of utility, and should it further aspire to beauty of line and colour, may not our hoardings claim kinship with the galleries, and the designers of affiches pose proudly in the public eye...?
Still there is a general feeling that the artist who puts his art into the poster is déclassé—on the streets—and consequently of light character. The critics can discover no brush work to prate of, the painter looks askance upon a thing that achieves publicity without a frame, and beauty without modelling, and the public find it hard to take seriously a poor printed thing left to the mercy of sunshine, soot, and shower, like any old fresco over an Italian church door..." -Aubrey Beardsley, 1894