Designer Series —  Superstars for High Impact

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Designer Series —

Superstars for High Impact



#ARTWISEUP by SAL McINTYRE
MAY 10, 2019 

Whether you love to design with the Maximalism approach or you simply look for that bold centerpiece to carry the show, choosing from a selection of the art world’s biggest superstars has the recipe for making an unforgettable statement. There is a reason these top artists found their way to ultra fame, and their images have had lasting and renewing effect on not only the collective art world imagery as a whole but also on the way in which we view art. Their unfading appeal makes powerful sweeps before even casual observers, ensuring their potential to create high impact in all the spaces they may inhabit.

Jean-Michel Basquiat – Florence, offset lithograph 2002

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s indescribable mystique hit the art scene in the late 1970s with the strength of a tropical storm, the rawness, confidence and beauty of his work holding true across an ever-changing landscape. Full of honesty and recklessness, attitude and even humor, Basquiat’s enduring allure strikes an undeniable chord.

Andy Warhol – Mick Jagger, offset lithograph 1974

Andy Warhol’s work is unmissable, and to use his imagery in a space is to brush elbows with the greats — automatically fostering an atmosphere that mingles with the unspoken languages of creative authority and unrestricted inspiration — this original 1974 exhibition poster Mick Jagger keeping company with one of the music world’s giants as well.

Frida Kahlo – L'Autobus, offset lithograph 2004

As a boldly active, individualistic and fearless female painter, Frida Kahlo made a splash during the first half of the 20th century that continues to inspire, ignite and sing even to this day a hundred years after her beginnings. This work L'Autobus celebrates her folk genius that seems to breathe magic into everything in its vicinity.

Damien Hirst – Superstition, offset lithograph 2007

Superstition, a work full of butterflies from Damien Hirst— whose usual vocabulary earned him shock-value fame for searing societal criticism— seems decidedly light hearted, exploring the intrinsic beauty of refracting light and geometric shapes that flutter kaleidoscopically from butterfly wings.

"Their unfading appeal makes powerful sweeps before even casual observers, ensuring their potential to create high impact in all the spaces they may inhabit."
Roy Lichtenstein – Arrow and Column, stone lithograph 1967

And no matter how brassy the Pop aesthetic of Roy Lichtenstein is, the underlying sophistication of a true artistic talent projects boldly through, lending an air of grace and universality to his style that never fails to satisfy. A work like Arrow and Column offers coolness and energy while maintaining effortless structural dignity.

Kerry James Marshall – Mastry, offset lithograph 2016

Kerry James Marshall’s brushstrokes in this ever popular work Mastry carry all of the brilliance steeped in this artist’s hands, a lyrical image that makes eloquent use of the light shimmering off of the models, paintbrushes, fabric, flowers and more that inhabit his studio. Designing with a work like this one on the wall is nearly like having Marshall’s atmosphere in the space with you.

David Hockney – Beverly Hills Housewife, offset lithograph 2001

With its talkative patterns, abrupt shape definition and unnamable sense of longing, Beverly Hills Housewife calls out from David Hockney’s most infamous subject matter — a work that is simultaneously alienating and seductive. Perhaps it is the cultural truism that makes his perspective so attractive, so compelling, and so impossibly hip. It is simultaneously quirky and distinctive, allowing for a rare yet bold play as a design element.

Yayoi Kusama – Self- Obliteration No. 2 (Red Dots), offset lithograph 2015

The joy from Yayoi’s dots is hard to avoid, her glowing oeuvre being the current obsession— part of a centuries-old conversation— with the theme of the dot, a form that can never degrade as it is a representation of the cell, the sun, or even more simply the presence of life. A philosophical fountain of youth, as it were, and a fitting theme for an artist who is attempting to erase the lines between her self and her art in this work Self- Obliteration No. 2 (Red Dots).

Keith Haring – Poster for Nuclear Disarmament, offset lithograph 1982

Keith Haring’s Poster for Nuclear Disarmament is not only a gripping activism message but somehow simultaneously a stunning beauty in design and voice — a characteristic that only a real artistic luminary can achieve. Though Haring’s art began in the streets, his indelible vision and unstoppable spirit are what catapulted his work into the spotlight as high art magnet. This piece is not only relevant, but also exquisite.

Fernando Botero – Los Cigarros, offset lithograph 1979
Fernando Botero – High Society, offset lithograph 1999

Fernando Botero’s work wins favor again and again, being both warm and inviting, and distinguished and dignified simultaneously. It is hard not to love his irresistible portraits, encouraging a tone of pride, familial love, life and laughter that is immediately relatable. Los Cigarros and High Society are but two enigmatic examples.

Jeff Koons – Balloon Dog (Red), offset lithograph 2012

A Jeff Koons Balloon Dog (Red) makes an impact as instantaneous as a popping balloon, and the aftereffect has a similar nature of shock-pleasure. A neverending reminder to enjoy life and have a good time, this work brings an element of spark into every conversation.

Rene Magritte – Son of Man, offset lithograph 2014

And lastly, a wildly popular image from one of the most memorable surrealists, Son of Man by Rene Magritte has inexplicably sustained across many decades of art trailblazing— a testament to its mysterious powers of resonance. This work remains undoubtedly an icon and a favorite, Magritte’s peculiar charm a classic agreement between the viewer and the unknowable.