Activity 5: Poster Art for Pride
Creative Art Activities in a Time of Social Isolation
Poster Art for Pride with Jorge Clar
We’re putting together arts activities inspired by our signature Vega Arts Workshop Series. Anyone can do it! No background in art-making is necessary to complete these activities using simple, low-cost materials found in your home, or easily acquired at essential services locations as well as online retailers. A new activity will be shared every two weeks.
#HowlAtHome celebrates PRIDE through the power of posters. Though we might not be able to gather together for this year’s pride march as we’ve done in the past, we can still show our support, excitement, and solidarity through Poster Art. We are excited to have our beloved, Jorge Clar, share with us his passion for the power of posters.
The modern poster took off in the 19th century when the printing industry perfected color lithography and mass production. Author Roger Marx, in his book ‘Masters of the Poster’, said the proliferation of placards on the streets of Paris turned them into “the poor man’s picture gallery.” Advertising products and services, the commercial success of poster art led fine artists like Jules Chéret—“the father of the modern poster”—, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Pablo Picasso to explore the format. In the 1960s, there was a resurgence in the popularity of posters with the rise of Pop Art and protest movements. Personally, I am a big fan of Swiss posters from the 1960s and 1970s, specifically those designed by Josef Müller Brockmann, who made bold graphic statements using the Akzidenz-Grotesk typeface, which was also an integral part of New York City subway signage during the 1970s. I also love Bauhaus posters, especially the ones by László Moholy-Nagy, a Hungarian painter who taught at the school, which show a masterful balance of line and color. As a young child, I was fascinated by street posters, and velvet posters with images in fluorescent color. When Puerto Rican beauty queen Marisol Malaret won the Miss Universe contest in 1970, my uncle gave me a handful of posters with her likeness wearing a tiara. I was so excited I climbed the mango tree in my backyard and hurled the posters into the air, hoping they would fly. My uncle, who was gay, would plaster posters of Raquel Welch in a bikini and Charles Bronson barechested in his den, and I was fascinated by these images. —Jorge Clar
Tag photos of your artworks on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook with #howlathome and #howlhappening to share your creations with us and connect to everyone who Howls at Home! Please email an image of your final project to Katherine Cheairs, Howl education director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Activity #5—Poster Art for Pride
For this activity, think of what a poster can do to help celebrate LGBTQIA+ Pride. Conjure a symbol of queer pride; think of what being a part of this spectrum means to you. Posters throughout history have been crucial in the spreading of ideas. Using simple graphic elements, one can make a statement that can be seen from a distance—across a room, displayed on a window, or carried outside, depending on the circumstances. Ideas for your poster can include notable figures of gay liberation or a statement related to your own experience.
As part of my artistic practice, I do performances that incorporate line drawings, which in turn include words. These elements informed my choices for these poster designs. I used tempera paint and a one-inch wide paint brush in creating the posters. These were done on poster boards which are readily available at drugstores. You can use brown craft paper, upcycled cardboard boxes…any rigid surface of your choice. Your recycling bin is a great resource! Depending on the surface, you can decide whether to use markers or paint. If using markers, I recommend Japanese Posca wide-tip paint markers which you can get online, or chisel-tip Sharpie markers, available at most drugstores. I have included a short instructional video on how to do simple hand-lettering with either a brush and tempera or chisel-tip marker. —Jorge Clar
Key Themes: Gay icons, Imagination, Symbols
Poster board or cardboard
Tempera or acrylic paints
Chisel- or wide-tip markers (like Posca or Sharpie)
Recycled plastic containers for tempera (if using)
Water for cleaning brush (if using)
ABOUT JORGE CLAR
Jorge Clar is a multidisciplinary artist and poet. His photo-performance, music playlists, and style interventions are contained in his repository blog, jorgeclar.com. He has shown drawings and sculpture, and presented a performance at AMP Gallery (Provincetown), and shown drawing at Marlborough Contemporary (New York). His recent performance-art pieces include Dishwashing Meditation, which included a live-audio recording pressed onto vinyl acetate on site by Ted Riederer, within his Never Records exhibition at the BAM Rudin Family Gallery. The latest two installments of Clar’s Show and Tell performances, which incorporate drawings and text, were presented at the Gene Frankel Theatre and Leslie-Lohman Prince Street Project Space. The artist curated the performance and poetry review Monster Salon for Howl! Happening in 2015. He has read his poems at St. Mark’s Poetry Project and Teachers and Writers.