Philographics, Chihuly again

Philographics refers to a series of posters designed to convey in a single compelling graphic shape the essential theme of a major philosophy. If you have been following my blog, you know that I am very interested in both philosophy and the use of images to convey ideas.

After I found these yesterday, I emailed Mr. Carrera for permission to use them in some form of embroidery or fiber art. His reply was immediate and affirmative! I am not quite sure what I want to do, but they intrigue me.

Genís Carrera is a graphic designer based in London. He’s the creator of Philographics, a beautifully executed series of 24 posters through which he tries to explain philosophy using basic shapes and color, turning a complex thought in to something simple and visually appealing. These visually interpreted statements can work as both pieces of design and educational resource, according to the designer.

I have provided several links to the posters. Depending on colour, the text may be difficult to read, but then, except for the title, the text is not the focus of attention. If you want to read the fine print, as I do, one or the other source might work, and I can usually get a higher resolution enlargement in Google images.

In Carrera’s work, along with the Chihuly glass that I talked about on May 10, I have a whole new set of image resources with which to experiment. Carrera’s is very “left brain”, clean, rational, but still evocative because of associations we make with shape, colour, line. Chihuly’s is very “right brain”, complex, exuberant, unpredictable, fanciful. I really like them both!

And on the topic of Chihuly, I have since learned that he is extremely well known and that some of my friends have seen his work! Yesterday I picked up two books about Chihuly from the library… we have a wonderful opportunity to research and order on line from any branch in the system and pick up the material locally!

Chihuly’s organic shapes take me back to my admiration for Georgia O’Keefe‘s flowers and for other sources for floral macrophotography, such as Irving Penn. Paradoxically, the glass appears more lively and dynamic than the paintings and photos of magnificent living flowers. I would expect the photos of the glass to appear more 3-dimensional than O’Keefe’s painted flowers, but not the photos by Penn … is it “just” the play of light? Or is it my enthusiasm about the novelty of my experience?

Chihuly, Color, Glass and Form, and Chihuly, Form from Fire are beautiful books, with interesting editorial copy about Chihuly’s life, methods and ideas. He works in a team, each person frequently changing roles, while he choreographs, so to speak, the evolution of the design, and supervises the final distortion and shaping. The photographs are intriguing, but the descriptive text is all in the footnotes at the end. Looking at the photos, which are all printed to fill the page, it is difficult to guess the size of the piece… what a surprise some of the dimensions are!

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5 Responses to Philographics, Chihuly again

  1. Bill Chance says:

    Love the graphics – they say so much so simply.

    I’m a big fan of Chihuly – last weekend I visited a vast installation of his at the Dallas Arboretum. It was exquisite and beautiful and a blast to take photographs of. I’ve been smiling all week thinking about it and working on the photos.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • motleydragon says:

      Thank you for your comment. I went to the website for the Dallas Arboretum and found and embedded this video. It shows the creative team in action and the finishing steps for a large piece. I envy you the opportunity to see the show in such wonderful surroundings!

  2. FLP says:

    The philographics are amazing. I really enjoyed studying them and will await impatiently your interpretation in fabric or another medium.

    • motleydragon says:

      Would you like to join me in the project? I envision quite small pieces that will work together in a cumulative way as each piece is finished! They could be in any medium we choose, or a variety, as long as sizes are consistent!

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