“Wake Up!” the poster created by Involution illustrator Sarah Kaiser and Creative Director Juhan Sonin is currently on display at MassArt’s Paine gallery. The exhibit, entitled "Graphic Advocacy: International Posters for the Digital Age 2001-2012", has over 122 posters from artists in 32 countries. Each piece is ideological, political, and, as Mark Feeney writes in his Boston Globe review, “replete with the excitement that comes of passionate commitment.”
This exhibit (and resulting book) shows that posters aren’t just for lampposts anymore. The rise of the internet has forever influenced the way we voice our commitments to political and humanitarian causes. Now a full-color poster can be sent or downloaded all over the world, with a limitless number of recipients. With its combination of striking iconography and bold messaging “Wake Up!” and posters like it, show the world the poster is still a central tool in today’s advocacy arsenal.
“Despite the fact that we're the 'lower' 99 percent, we're still the 99 percent, and acting together we can make change,” says Sarah, who is a key player in Involution’s design and illustration team. The idea, she says, was to visualize the asymmetry with color and then charge it with emotion.
Neither Sarah nor Juhan is a stranger to their work being on display. Juhan’s designs have been presented in exhibits throughout Europe and the US, including the New York Times, Billboard Magazine and BBC International. Still, both agree it’s an honor having their collaboration represented in Graphic Advocacy, and to see how their work has impacted the Occupy movement. “I think we're starting to see some of that change take place,” says Sarah.
Graphic Advocacy runs now until March 2nd, with an opening reception on Tuesday, January 29 from 6:00–8:00 PM. In addition, “Wake Up!” will also be featured in a large hardcover poster book due out this fall by Vivays Publishing Company Ltd. For more information visit MassArt’s calendar page.