STEFAN SAGMEISTER/artist/designer/what about demon child ?
STEFAN SAGMEISTER/1999 AIGA POSTER/COURTESY: COMPOGRAFO
STEFAN SAGMEISTER . . designer ? artist ? what about . . DEMON CHILD !!
here’s a guy who says in interviews he was never interested in being a Fine Artist. talk about major denial. his “inner artist” had to literally – cut himself out. that AIGA poster is the real thing – it’s not photo shopped – nor sharpie penned – he actually had his assistant carve into his body with an X-acto blade.
That entire controversy over: graphic designer vs. fine artist – is so over, so boring, and so played out. get with the program already. tangible production+skills = art. do we really have to look to the kids in the streets of New York to get to the bottom of this – they get it: “it all comes down to skills – it’s all, about the skills, man.” and this does not in any way exclude creative expressions or objects that are informed by thought. skills does not mean – without thought. You can’t have even the most basic down-to-earth skills – without a focused mind-set, and a certain amount of study and experimentation. when you get whatever you are doing – be it design, object fabrication or conceptual project, folk art, street art – whatever – going in such a way that it attracts other people’s attention – believe it, its art.
STEFAN SAGMEISTER has an interesting narrative – obliquely addressing the (indistinct) line between artisan and creative/conceptualist artist, with regards to his personal experience growing up in a household where one set of skills – did not preclude the other; though the label society deployed – to his grandfather, a professional sign painter – probably did.
. . . it’s in a section of his website – that is dedicated to:
“My grandfather was educated in sign painting and i grew up with many of his pieces of wisdom around the house, traditional calligraphy carefully applied in gold leaf on painstakingly carved wooden panels. One of his panels, still hanging in our hallway in Austria, reads:
This house is mine, and it isn’t mine
the second guy won’t own it either
They will carry out the third one too,
So tell me, my friend, whose house is it.”
yep, a smart sensitive kid growing up in a house like that might just evolve into the kind of artisan/designer/thinker/artist whose “most enjoyable” project might be trying to figure out life’s lessons – who does ‘own’ the house ? – and, title the whole project, in the most straightforward way – ‘THINGS I HAVE LEARNED IN MY LIFE SO FAR’.
yes, of course !! – SAGMEISTER has an interesting website, as much as for it’s ‘tone’ as its mechanical ‘animation’.
check it out here: SAGMEISTER INC., NEW YORK
one of his projects that might be most familiar to artworld denizens – though they might not know he was behind its design – would be the MARIKO MORI ‘WAVE UFO BOOK’.
STEFAN SAGMEISTER DESIGN PROJECT/MARIKO MORI ‘WAVE UFO ‘ BOOK /PHOTO COURTESY: SAGMEISTER INC., NEW YORK
a good place to start a research of his game plans and accomplishments would be, and definitely
check it out: DESIGN MUSEUM ESSAY/STEFAN SAGMEISTER – GRAPHIC DESIGNER b. 1962
BACK TO THE AIGA POSTER: . . guess the BIG IDEA – really is everything . . . in the design world. the artworld hasn’t historically been behind these kinds of self-expression. you’ll note – it isn’t mentioned in the DEITCH press release. though according to the DESIGN MUSEUM essay – it’s considered “a graphic icon of the 1990s”.
STEFAN SAGMEISTER signs copies of his new book, at the opening of ‘THINGS I HAVE LEARNED IN MY LIFE SO FAR’, (also the name of the book), DEITCH PROJECTS, Jan 31, 2008
PHOTO: NANCY SMITH