Wednesday, February 23, 2011

This illustration was created and published in Cleveland in 1911, it illustrates the concept and structure of the capitalist system (politics aside, that’s the idea behind it). I was drawn to this illustration because I like the idea that visuals combined with information can make information more accessible and less dry, and make the art more meaningful. Visually this piece is very much a product of its times. The style of the drawing, relatively realistic with lots of historically specific detail and heavy outlines, compositionally centered and straight forward, makes the piece dated, but no less effective. I think that there is often a temptation to obscure meaning in artwork, but if the point of illustration is to communicate ideas than being obscure is counterproductive. This illustration was relevant and easy to understand for the people viewing it when it was published, I have to wonder what the art and illustration of these times will look like to people 100 years from now.

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