The Mighty Archive

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Media Domination

Overspray was reviewed in last weekend's New York Times and also appears in this month's Women's Wear Daily The Reading Room section.


Stewf said...

"Too ripe", indeed. "HELLER!" I cry, shaking fist at the sky.

Dan said...

I would like to get a good discussion going as to the merits of this kind of illustration. I respect Steve a lot, but I think he's brushed this work aside as being shallow when, in fact, it's not at all. It doesn't fit into a NYC-centric vision of conceptual illustration or ephemera. But, perceived "depth" in illustration has, for the last 30 odd years been calculated along the Steinberg/Push Pin conceptual illustration axis. I love this stuff, but there's room for more. To me, what we're dealing with when talking about the Overspray guys is astounding feats of image making. You sink into the images and explore their visual worlds. Things like Charlie's Levi's Splash image, or Lloyd's Rod Stewart cover are unforgettably powerful IMAGES. They're not tricked-out ideas, a la Glaser, but they are forceful and communicative. And the surfaces are compelling. Unlike so much concept-based illustration, these surfaces add a layer of meaning: the sheen, the sheer thickness of them gives them a life of their own. What they have is presence -- something so much illustration lacks. This is more in the vein of contemporary work like Murakami or even Matthew Barney. And, I think it could be argued that the Overspray work is more relevant to contemporary visual culture and 90% of the history of illustration. That's not really an argument for its quality, but certainly if you take one look at magazines like XLR8R, galleries like Deitch Projects, artists like Jim Shaw, and on and on, you see that Overspray contains a huge chunk of stunningly relevant ideas.

About the Author

Norman Hathaway
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Norman Hathaway is a designer and writer whose primary focus is on contemporary, lesser-known design techniques and personalities. Norman's professional experience has spanned many design disciplines, from sign painting to filmmaking. His clients included The Design Museum, The Royal Academy of Arts, Paul McCartney and Peter Gabriel. He has lectured widely on design at the London College of Printing, The Royal College of Art, Goldsmiths College and other schools. He currently lives in Brooklyn with his daughter Wilma.
© 2008 PictureBox Inc. and Norman Hathaway