Friday, November 4, 2011

London 2012 Unveils Official Posters

Today the London Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) unveiled the official posters for London 2012, including six Olympic and six Paralympic designs.

Check out the full press release (including artist bios) and links to the designs!
Building on an Olympic arts tradition spanning several decades, the LOCOG-commissioned works by 12 leading U.K. artists highlight competition and athletic themes of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Looking at the collection, I am enthusiastically drawn to the work titled "Big Ben 2012" by Sarah Morris. The poster features a modernized view of the Clock Tower in a framework reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright windows. Beautiful! I want this poster in my apartment!

Another poster titled "Divers" -- created by Anthea Hamilton -- is also appealing with vivid color and silhouetted legs and Olympic rings in white.

The third and poster of note, however, sort of made me think, "Huh?!"

The work titled "Swimming" by Howard Hodgkin is described in LOCOG press materials with the following note: "The fluidity of the brushstrokes perfectly captures the movement of water and the sensation of swimming."

Not so much.

For this blogger, it sort of captures the movement of child's fingers dipped in finger paint.

Though to Hodgkin's credit, the painting did also remind me of a favorite R.E.M. song titled "Night Swimming" so I guess the poster is OK, just not for my walls.


Like Athens 2004's terrible selection of official posters, the rest of the London 2012 official poster series leave a bit to be desired. For instance, the illustration of two birds appearing under an inspiring message was to me, well, inspiring, yet better suited for the cartoon collections of The New Yorker magazine.

The other workz juzt make me zort of **yawn** zleepy ... ZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz ...

I guess my Olympic official poster tastes are influenced by the dazzling array of memorable official works created for LA84, Barcelona 1992 and Atlanta 1996. LA's official works, including artists Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg and Martin Puryear, are just tough to beat. Javier Mariscal's 1992 designs, and the 1996 posters by Howard Finster and James Rizzi, stand out as exceptional.

Other favorites Olympic poster works include designs by Jacob Lawrence, David Hockney, Andy Warhol and (official or not) the works of Dallas artist Bart Forbes are personal favorites (his works for several U.S. Postal Service stamps are tops in my book).

I'm sure the London 2012 official posters will be quite popular in spite of my remarks. Would love to hear which London 2012 Olympic posters are most liked -- or disliked -- by readers of this blog, and I will send an official 1996 Atlanta Olympic Opening Ceremony postcard of Muhammad Ali lighting the Olympic cauldron to the person(s) who post the most colorful comment(s) during the next three days.

Disclosures: LOCOG and the IPC/Paralympics are clients of Edelman, the agency where I work. Photo credits: London 2012/LOCOG website.

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