Art & Hue
THE MAY COLLECTION
When I published the first two stories on the latest collections from Art & Hue here two weeks ago, I hadn't expected to follow up with a third. I hadn't planned a trilogy. But then @ArtAndHue founder Odysseas Constantine got in touch to introduce the new print collections for May, including Brutalist architecture and midcentury chairs. How could I resist? I asked Odysseas to explain the inspiration behind the latest designs, which also include two collections with musical themes - think Blue Note jazz record covers and Eurovision. Yes, Eurovision! May is a diverse month for pop art prints.
As a collection of pop art, it feels natural that Art & Hue's spiritual era is the 1960s. An exciting time of optimistic modernity, buildings seemed to be grand concepts in tune with the space age, reaching for the sky, in which thoroughly modern activities were expected to take place (although in reality it was probably pedestrian clerical work).
The starting point for the Brutalist pop art prints was Centre Point and Space House, both designed by Richard Seifert in the 1960s, which I knew I wanted to include and, as I like to create groups of art on a theme for people who may want to put together a gallery wall, I added the beautiful geometric structure of Welbeck Street Car Park and finally the Barbican Centre. There are other buildings I may add in the future but these balanced together well as a group of four prints.
Why classic chairs?
I've had a collection of chair prints in mind since Mad Men first started, long before I launched Art & Hue, yet I could never find what I imagined. I guess that's the impetus for a lot of art, to create what you want but can't find. Initially I was thinking of the Eames' Time-Life chair, but when it came to creating the group of pop art prints, the four iconic chairs I decided upon seemed to 'sit' well together.
Did you conceive these two collections to work together?
Both collections, the Mid-Century Chairs and Brutalist Architecture, now sit alongside the collection of Mid-Century Office prints I launched Art & Hue with, which include a vintage typewriter, telephone, camera, and lamp. I hope to gradually expand the universe of each theme at Art & Hue by adding prints that complement each other but I also like the idea of people mixing their own blend of prints; for example, the Crooner print alongside the Egg Chair print next to the Eye print.
As all Art & Hue prints are available in a choice of colours, they could all be the same hue to co-ordinate with each other, or a mix of shades that will complement the room they're going to be displayed in.
What led you to Blue Note jazz?
As an admirer of Saul Bass film titles, I wanted to create a collection of prints that referred to that era and style without being too literal or derivative. One creative leap led to another and the music prints came together, reminiscent of Blue Note jazz record covers yet also evoking soul & funk playbills.
There are a lot of bad things about the Eurovision (the fact that it seems to go on for far too long now that there are so many countries involved; the political point-scoring; a lot of the actual 'music') but there are great points too: I find it heartwarming and important that so many countries get together to avoid insularity; the contest occasionally throws up an act that endures; and purely to have a laugh.
For me, the heyday of the contest was the 60s, particularly for the United Kingdom when we used to win. I wasn't around to watch it back then but love the old footage. Hearing the European national anthem at the beginning of the event heralds the potential of the occasion. It used to be played over the Eurovision graphics originally created in the 1960s and used through the 70s and 80s to announce the start of the show, and it's this graphic that I've reworked for the collection of Eurovision prints. I hope that the halftone typography of Euro-speak song titles overlaid onto the iconic graphic brings together the style and fun of the event.
With thanks to Odysseas Constantine
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