Monday, November 5, 2012

Pumping the Pulse of the Voters: Political Campaign Prints

Oh yes, the time is at hand, my fellow inked up comrades, to cast a ballot for a person or party, and do as we Americans do every four years  - hope that the Best person gets elected to the highest job in the land. This time it’s been a pretty heavily media-blitzed contest, and the two main candidates are running the race neck and neck. 
What I wanted to share with you today were some of the more interesting examples of political campaign prints through the ages – for the most part consisting of lithographs and screen prints. As you will see they are fairly ‘descriptive’, almost painfully plain(as seen above). No nonsense with those guys. 

I personally like this one above that looks like a political roulette game board, but one can imagine in an earlier era, before the realm of social media, I-pads, computers or television, a campaign poster showing the candidates’ faces might have been the only time voters could have seen them. Now our world is blitzed ad infinitum with television ads and Youtube videos. We see them very clearly, but do we have any better a  sense who these people are athan before? Maybe yes, but probably not

For the most part, I find these posters quite accomplished artistically, and in some cases a downright sign of their times, i.e. the classically handsome face of actor-turned politician Ronald Reagan as seen below. 

The psychedelic poster of Bobby Kennedy was a little humorous but surely, we wouldn't ever have associated the same imagery with his elder brother, Prince JFK, heir of Camelot. 
I’ll let you scroll through a few of these beauties and you will see what I mean. The attention getters start to change with the times, developing complex color, and drama. The red white and blue is always a prerequisite, but that, too, will change.

Granted, the candidates knew and approved of what these printed posters would look like,  but I hardly think Nixon would have approved of his change from the young, and almost handsome, man he started off being as a senate candidate, to the grotesque Andy Warhol-smudge faced ghoul he morphed itno.
Where these posters start to really get interesting is when they branch away from formality into humor and these are a real 'sign of the times'. Notice the colors and casual ensemble of Candidate James Carter from the Great state of Georgia pictured below.
Kudos to the artists that took a stab and jab at humor in these campaign posters. Lord, the candidates are  enormouslyly humorous fodder  for us anyway, so why not show a lighter side to the absurdity of this whole political process? These guys are human, as they claim, and we need to see how they'd fare if they actually understood the satire being shot their way.
At least below we get a little glove action, although I'm thinking Romney's pectorals may not be so 'developed'.

Mercifully, we were spared the nightmare of whether Ms. P would indeed have become leader of the free world (Whew!) but I bet she and Hilary would have given us a good match.:)
Not sure about these two above, but tomorrow will tell our future course for the next four years, so
all I can say is...
we have come a long way since the first President, trying out this new thing called a democracy, and Yes, We Can and will try to keep moving Forward to keep what is precious about this country. This  place, with all its faults and troubles IS something  special, and yes we all can make a difference as long as we vote. VOTE, my inked up friends. Cast your ballots and may the BEST candidate win. 

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