Anybody who knows me knows that I have a preternatural sensitivity to all things Eastern European, and nowhere is it more evident than in my love of Polish Poster Art. I’ve been collecting Polish posters for awhile, and it appeals to me because it’s modern without being cold and gestural without being baroque. I love it and I was very pleased to hear that polish art collective Homework is keeping the tradition alive with their playful takes on books, films, and theater.
This is a poster for a film adaption of a Prague coming of age story called Bring Up Girls in Bohemia by Michal Viewegh. The poster, like its subject matter, is evocative of sexual liberation in a climate of political repression.
The composition adheres to a grid, despite the off-kilter type and aggressive slant of the pen nib. Negative space in the center slant becomes a playful, visual double entendre. Is it an undressed woman? Or is it pen? The “ink spill” adds an element of chaos and organic expression, subtly suggesting a shadow, and the protagonists hurried, undeveloped sense of self.
The typefaces embodied are a kind of san-serif that evoke Russian Constructivism and propaganda posters. They are slightly on a slant. This simple choice recalls and subverts Soviet repression.
The color of scheme is very simple, but the “black” is actually the same hue as the red, only turned down. This leads itself to a slight warmer, cohesive feeling than a typical Constructivist, harsh lithograph. That’s especially importance in a story like Bohemia, which is so intimate.