One of the most exciting internet trends of recent years has been the rise of demotivational posters.
To understand where these come from and why some of them are so darn funny we need to understand what a motivational poster is. These are, well yes, they are posters, you are right. And they are designed to motivate you. They might say stirring and patriotic things like “Your Country Needs You” or soft and fuzzy phrases like “You are Special”. They usually build your self esteem and are always sober, earnest and never sarcastic or with huge amounts of vomit or butt cleavage in them.
Demotivational posters, on the other hand, are designed to parody these motivational posters. They are often sarcastic, they reduce your self esteem and they often include horrific amounts of horrible body parts and weird stuff.
Ok, that’s enough of the theory let’s move onto the practical part of the lesson.
The Twist on a Real Motivational Poster
Birth of a Ball
Born in Worcester, Massachusetts on July 10, 1921. Ball became an apprentice sign painter while attending Worcester South High School. After school, he studies fine arts at Worcester Art Museum School.
Serving in Asia and the Pacific during World War II, Ball was awarded the Bronze Star for Heroism. Ball served in the National Guard for the majority of his life, retiring in 1979.
After the war ended, he began working for an advertising company and started his own company, Harvey Ball Advertising. Harvey was contacted by State Mutual Life Insurance Company in his home town of Worcester in 1963. Promotional Director Joy Young wanted to boost morale after her company bought out competing Guarantee Mutual Insurance Company of Ohio. She wanted a design that would bring together the two companies as one.
Harvey Bell was hired to create a design that would fit on buttons. Ball sketched the simple design of the smiley face on the eye catching yellow background. Ball’s first attempt was just the smile, but he thought that people would misunderstand it as a frown because it could be turned around to look like it. He decided to add eyes to the smile and to add a human aspect to the drawing, he made the left eye bigger than the right. Harvey was paid $45 for the smile.
As you can probably tell, we’re pretty excited about the 2012 London Olympics over here. And it seems Banksy is as well. He’s posted two new pieces of his famed graffiti art on his site. This time, they depict a javelin thrower packing a little more firepower than usual and a pole vaulter escaping over a chain-link fence. While his messages may be polarizing, there is no denying that Bansky is one of the greatest cultural artists of our generation. Hopefully we’ll see more uploads from Banksy this week as the Games continue.
And be sure to check out this article on the politics of Banksy’s stunning art at The Atlantic Wire.
You may know of Banksy, a British street artist of unknown identity. Based mostly in England, where he has gained much fame and infamy, Banksy specialises in darkly comic satire, both social and political, which he presents through pieces of graffiti crafted with a technique involving spray paint and stensils. His work, which has appeared on brick walls and the sides of bridges, as well as in his very own public exhibitions, is often deeply subversive and highly comical: a piece depicting a pair of canoodling policemen and another displaying a flower-lobbing hooligan are among his most famous works.
If you enjoy Banksy’s work (if not, seek help), then you may be interested in British photographer Nick Stern’s new series, entitled “You Are Not Banksy.” The project sees Stern meticulously recreating a handful of Banksy’s masterpieces using real-life models and photographing their mimicking poses. The results are extraordinary. Stern himself is a fan of the elusive guerilla street artist: “I have always admired Banksy – I love his cheek and humour,” said the London-born photographer. “Much of art is a recreation or interpretation of real life, but this is the other way round – I wanted real life to recreate art. I hope he likes what I’ve done.”
Below is Stern’s series, along with Banksy’s iconic originals for comparison.
Fans of retro video games have found a variety of ways to pay tribute to legendary 8-bit classics, from Google’s awesome Pacman anniversary homepage to hardcore nerds going as far as getting tattoos of their favorite game characters. It was only a matter of time until someone came up with an idea as amazing as this one…