Hello Squares, I Welcome You With Open Arms And A Smile.

I have decided to repost yesterday’s entry with today’s additions. I also added a few photos here and there to spice it up.

What’s next? I’m guessing geometric handiwork. It’s so hard to predict trends, but no matter what they always change. They circulate. It doesn’t matter how cool something is it eventually becomes uncool. After awhile it becomes so uncool that it actually is cool again. The main, and possibly, only exception to this is…well, I can’t think of any. I almost said the Simpson’s or David Bowie,


but I can’t really commit to that. It’s just easier to say that nothing has been cool forever. Not even that gray hair wig wearing Campbell’s Soup can painting art guy has been cool forever.


OK, now that I’m thinking about artists it could very well be possible that Dali has always been cool.


But probably not. Oh my, what a digression. I went from “geometric handiwork” to soup cans. Moving right along. I am a keen observer. Either that or I’m annoyingly oblivious. Have you heard of Ryan Mcginness? He’s on my top five of living contemporary artists. (HA, “living contemporary”. What does that even mean?) Here is a photo (and below a close up detail) I took of one of his paintings at a show he had in La Jolla last year.

ryan mcginness, 2007

ryan mcginness, 2007

Amazing, right? I think so. Anyway, in the non-close up photo take note of all the curlicue line work. I’m no art historian, but I’d say it hints at or is a direct descendant of Victorian Design. Or better yet, if Victorian Design and Art Nouveau met at a pub, drank themselves to a stupor, had unprotected sex in a back alley that resulted in an offspring you would get these swirly curly lines of whimsy. In the close up photo you can see more detailed versions of the whimsical lines I’m talking about. This line work started showing up in Mcginness’s work around 2001. By 2003 it was a big part of his work and by 2004 it pretty much dominated the surface of his paintings.

Earlier when I claimed to be a keen observer, which I am in a wide variety of areas, in this instance I am specifically talking about design. As in graphic design (such as print ads, business cards, web site banner ads, hangtags on clothing, etc.) and fashion/clothing design (fabric patterns, t-shirt logos, etc.) If you, too, are a keen observer of such things it is no doubt you have witnessed the proliferation of this style of design on practically everything. In the last three years it has sprung up on print ads for things as diverse as BMX bikes and credit cards. You see it on Hurley shirts and generic shirts from Target and Wal-Mart. I think it all stems from Ryan Mcginness. It’s no doubt art creates culture. It’s unfortunate that most people don’t know where it comes from. Do you remember that scene in “The Devil Wears Prada” when Meryl Streep schools Ann Hathaway on where her blue sweater came from? If you don’t remember it here it is.

The part she left out, of course, is that some artist probably used Cerulean Blue in a series of paintings. Of course, a fashion designer is an artist too. We mustn’t conclude that the only art that creates culture is the art of painters. (But, it probably is.) Anyway, that scene describes what I’m trying to say better than I can describe it myself. Plus, it’s late and I’m in no mood to articulate my little theories.

As I was saying, art creates culture. And it’s no doubt that once arts influence has infiltrated every sect of society it is only a matter of time before a new trend emerges.

My prediction, as I stated at the beginning of this, is geometric shapes. Soon you will start seeing more circles, squares and rectangles popping up as background filler in print ads and t-shirt logos. This Victorian- Art Nouveau thing got to the point where items just appeared boring or generic if those elements were not included. It’s now flipped, however, to the point where using those design elements is generic. All the graphic designers out there will have to stow away their favorite bed mate,


the Dover Victorian and Art Nouveau books, until the trend comes back, which will probably be right after people get bored of circles and squares and need something a little more old school. More old fashioned looking.


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