I love old paper. Posters, prints, newspapers, photographs …. Every piece of ephemera tells a story: whether its an old advertisement for a product which hasn’t been produced for decades, or a poster by an artist who has long been forgotten, every piece of paper has a history.
In the pre-‐Internet era, store-‐owners would take great pains to make sure that their product offering, and their stores, were immaculate places of business where the customer could find whatever their heart desired … In Italy, even now, when you walk into a place of commerce, salespeople (when they deign to look at and serve you) say “Midica” (which literally translates into “Tell me”, as in, tell me how can I help you… what can I get for you?) It’s an archaic, charming way to invite the customer in, and to engage them … (we do the same thing here: when a client – or prospective client -‐ walks into the gallery, we will offer them a cup of coffee or a bottle of water. Call it politesse, call it salesmanship – relationship-‐building takes many forms…)
Because I am fortunate enough to travel to Italy on poster-‐buying trips (some would call them binges), a large proportion of our posters feature Italian foods and wines.
Whether its an oversize Fascist-‐era poster for those fine Italian cookies known as Amaretti, or a small and hand-‐signed maquette for the soft, unctuous cheese known as Bel Paese, even the quirky liquor known as Carpano.
It’s all represented here in the gallery – giving new life to old paper, and proving to us – and you! – that old paper lives, and entertains, still.
The Carpano ad is my favourite – so much joviality. Can you still buy prints of these?