Polish School of Posters
The late 1940s witnessed another shift in the life of the Polish poster. It was at this time that a small group of artists, including Henryk Tomaszewski, Józef Mroszczak and Eryk Lipiński, set out on a new path of artistic invention. When asked in 1946 by the Polish Film Department to design posters, they agreed- but with the stipulation that the work be based on their own artistic terms, not the typical advertising clichés of the past. This new direction saw a subtle use of metaphor, unusual juxtaposition of forms, and elements of abstraction combined in innovative ways. [...]
Poster life after Communism
Almost overnight, capitalism arrived in Poland and the effects have been devastating for the genre of poster art. Today, garish billboards adorn the streets and globalized imagery and influences permeate Polish society, altering what was once a more isolated and distinct visual tradition. Where once there were 1,000 posters commissioned each year by the Polish government, there are now less than 100. Hollywood "star" posters have replaced the interpretive film poster. While filming in the summer of 2002, we could not escape the pre-packaged publicity images of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones promoting "Men In Black II."
The Polish government no longer finances most cultural events; theatres cannot afford to publish artistic posters, and the idea of a film as an excuse to make a poster has vanished. [...]
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