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As a graphic artist and designer, I have always been interested in posters, particularly screen-printed posters. In some ways, the traditional printed poster is a marginalized form now—with the shrinking public spaces in our cities now dominated by large-scale, commercial digital printing; and with the internet and social media having become the medium of choice for the delivery and consumption of announcements, publicity and propaganda of all kinds. Of course, posters continue to survive within certain specific contexts - such as at mainstream political rallies, or as part of the organizing efforts of social movements, or in college campuses.
The very limitations of the old media - limited colors and tones, higher production costs and logistics of dissemination etc., gave rise to graphic forms that were distinctive and beautiful. I am particularly fascinated by the ways that posters balance the need to grab attention with arresting graphics and type, and then draw the viewer into a more nuanced or layered exposition of the subject at hand.
‘Imposters’ pays homage to the language of posters through a series of limited edition screen prints.
Unlike conventional posters—such as announcements, which would usually speak to the future—these ‘imposters’ are retrospectively created, using full advantage of hindsight to investigate and play upon some of the influential events, people, cities and ideas of our time. In unpacking the iconic imagery of traditional poster art, these graphic renditions move between homage and spoof, between the real and the imaginary, between fiction and fact.
Seen collectively, the images and texts on these posters also constitute a personal commentary on the many cultural and political histories we simultaneously strive to live with and live by.
Orijit Sen 2014