Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Razzia and the Art of Advertising Opens

I figure I'll start this blog by talking about the exhibition we just opened. No, it's not really of 'vintage' posters--unless, of course, you're young enough to think 1984 is already 'vintage'--but, honestly, how often do you stumble across a poster exhibition? So, even though it's not really my era of expertise, here comes my review of the International Poster Center's current show, "Razzia and the Art of Advertising":

First, let me say, I am no Razzia fan--his work, to me, comes across as dated and predictable. In his world, everyone looks like David Bowie during the Ziggy Stardust phase, and all women wear black elbow-length gloves. Therefore, I found it all-too-fitting that the young curator at the IPC decided on French rock of the mid-80s and a homemade cheesecake to set the scene for the opening reception. Cutesy? A bit. But also quite funny--it was like they were saying "we know this stuff is dated, but come on, you love the cheese of the 80s as much as we do." And really, just go into any Urban Outfitters for proof that the 80s are still kickin in the eyes of the hipsters. 

So I made my way through the crowd--which, incidentally, exuded an atmosphere like a cross between the Breakfast Club and a Bret Easton Ellis novel--overhearing artchatter and eating my rather delicious slice of cheesecake, and I realized that, despite my anti-love for Razzia, this is actually a pretty damn good show. Yes, it's steeped in nostalgia (but so's Julie Taymor's 'Across the Universe,' and you won't see me raining on that cinematic parade!); yes, it's cheesy...but it's FANTASTICALLY cheesy! If I had a billiards room or some crazy bar, I'd cover the walls with Razzia's because they pack a hyper-saturated, turquoise and magenta punch. They make me want to rock out to Rick Astley and A-Ha. Simply put, they're a fun time. And for an average price of $500 a pop, you won't find a cheaper authentic throwback that covers that much wall space anywhere else.

So, my friends, grab your aviators and spandex and head on over to the International Poster Center (601 W. 26th St., btwn 11th and 12th aves, 13th floor. NY, NY) while the show's still up. It's due to close Feb. 1, so hurry!

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