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Jun
26

Consumer_sm: a Response to IPOP at the Walker Art Center

By olliewollerman
Consumer_sm by Ollie Wollerman

Consumer_sm by Ollie Wollerman

Upon seeing International Pop for the first time, I was immediately blown away with the amount of color in the exhibition. From this initial observation of the show, I was inspired to incorporate the same kind of flat, graphic colors into an art piece. Throughout the show, many pieces integrated similar aspects of consumerism and capitalism. One of the overarching themes in the show was the idea of production and consumption, and this idea pushed me to tie in the corporate logos into the art piece. Many of the pieces in particular that inspired me had ideas like these, for example many of the pieces had aspects of storefronts,  corporate logos and packaging.

Foodscape, by Erro

Foodscape, by Erro

While creating this piece, I was particularly inspired by Erro’s 1964 painting, Foodscape. The vast amount of consumer brands and corporate logos really illustrates ideas about consumer culture, especially about how much logos and brands can influence our livesandsociety as a whole. Shortly after viewing Foodscape, I was able to recognize many of the brands used in the painting, which really brought my attention the extent that corporate logos are visible in society; I wanted to address this idea in my art piece. I tried to use logos that people see all the time, but perhaps might take for granted, because of how frequently branding is shown in society. By using common logos and putting them into art, I wanted to be able to show this aspect of consumerism.

 Insertions into Ideological Circuts: Coca Cola Project by Cildo Meireles

Insertions into Ideological Circuts: Coca Cola Project by Cildo Meireles

I wanted to alter and warp some of the branding and logos that I used in my art piece, in order to show how the logos can often represent more than just branding for a product. I chose to change the colors to illustrate that brands can look different, but can ultimately represent the same consumeristic ideas. In this sense, I think that by changing the colors of the logos, it can incorporate many political ideas, which was an important theme throughout International Pop. One piece in particular that uses these themes in a similar way was Insertions into Ideological Circuts: Coca Cola Project by Cildo Meireles. By using a commercial object like the Coke bottles as a vehicle to deliver political messages, I think it can really bridge a connection between political and consumer ideas in society. This is something that I aimed to include in my art; I wanted to be able to use corporate logos in a way that would give off a political message. However, I think that Cildo Meireles’s Coke bottles are a lot more direct and straightforward about political ideas, whereas I wanted to evoke some kind of thought to the viewer about consumerism and politics.

Throughout International Pop, I think that many of the themes addressed in the show are highlighted through its visual aspects of the show. The bright colors and consumer packaging and logos are able to draw the viewer in. However, I think that the colorful imagery works in an interesting way to emphasize and highlight the political and societal issues from the time period the exhibition focuses on, many of which are still very relevant today.

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