Polish Poster Art, Contemporary Affichistes, and … Karen admits she was wrong…

I’ve written many times before about how my friend Marc Choko has introduced me to the joys of contemporary poster art, and artists. Before I met Marc I was a girl who was firmly stuck in the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods: a woman clearly convinced that there were no modern poster artists (or affichistes) worthy of being represented in my shop. A smart person knows when to concede the error of their ways, and so … mea culpa, I was wrong: there are many modern artists who specialize in graphic poster design who are not only worthy of being represented at L’Affichiste, their work should be trumpeted, fêted, highlighted and accented. And so, I present

Tomasz Walenta 

walenta 1

Tomasz is currently working on his graduate degree with none other than … Marc Choko. This is not the first time they have worked together: in fact, Marc commissioned Tomasz – more than once – to create posters for the Université de Québec in Montreal (UQAM). Tomasz studied at the Université de Québec in Montreal before returning to Poland where he completed his Masters degree in graphic design in 1999 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Walenta cooperates with numerous newspapers and cultural institutions, among them The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, New-York Magazine, Time Magazine, The L.A. Times, The Progressive, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes Magazine, The Deal, The New Republic Magazine, Yale Medical. He lectured and held workshops at the Université de Québec in Montreal, at the Université Laval, at the École Intuit Lab and the Atelier Autograf in Paris. http://www.illustrative.de/festival/guestland-poland/tomasz-walenta/

His work – like his personality – is witty, dry, on-the-money, and of-the-moment. His work is unforgettable in much the same way Michel Bouvet’s work is: both artists produce work that is cutting-edge contemporary but with so many winks and nods to that which has come before that you can’t help but notice that their reductivist approach is both expansive and expressive. He works for newspapers like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and last fall (when we spoke about a possible collaboration) he also hosted a Time Magazine sponsored symposium on graphic design in Warsaw.

walenta 2

Here is a video that was made from Tomasz’ illustrations, and here, an early blogger who sat up and took notice

Here is an abridged version of the speech that was given when Tomasz was invited to UQAM (in French).

Diplômé de l’UQAM en design graphique, Tomasz Walenta entreprend par la suite de retourner faire sa maîtrise en Pologne, son pays natal. L’influence première de son travail est son parcours personnel. Ses illustrations expriment le langage bien particulier des affiches ; une façon conceptuelle non narrative d’exprimer une idée. L’affiche polonaise est une de ses grande influence, combinant une imagerie subtile et des commentaires puissants reflétant le climat politique et social de la Pologne communiste. Lorsqu’il travaille sur un sujet à dimension politique ou sociale, Walenta essaie de lui donner un point de vue subjectif afin d’exprimer son opinion sur le sujet. L’illustration est une interprétation, non seulement au niveau formel mais également idéologique. Son trait ludique critique allègrement l’hypocrisie et la superficialité de la société actuelle. http://designinternational2011.blogspot.ca/2011/05/tomasz-walenta-illustrateur-affichiste.html

L’Affichiste is pleased and proud to sell Tomasz Walenta’s posters. They are from his private collection, and they are presented here for the first time. All are available in the gallery and on-line.

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