Design Warriors - Sydney Caswell

Design warriors use their art to show us a better world. They critique institutions that need to be changed, they show us what we are afraid to see, they give us up. They make discussions about racism, feminism, and poverty look good.

Black Panther newspaper, poster, May 6, 1972, Emory Douglas, 1972-05-06, Original Source: AIGA Design Journeys: Emory Douglas
In this poster, Emory Douglass uses illustration along with photographs to show the plight of the African American people and say that they are not satisfied with their oppression. The blue rays coming out of the black and white images indicate that there is still hope. The rays symbolize the rays of the sun and the dawning of a new day for African Americans.
Racism Poster, Victore Design Works, 1993, Original Source: AIGA Design Archives. Collection: Communication Graphics: 15 (1994)
Victore Design Works uses this poster to show that racism comes from the mouth of amonster. This play on typography indicates just how scary racist words can be. It looks as though it was drawn by a child, perhaps suggesting that people who spew hate based on skin color are unsophisticated.
Fate, Barbara Kruger, 2001, From the collection of: Elgiz Museum
Barbara Kruger takes two copies of the same image and overlaps them, desaturating one. The desaturated copy makes the word "fate" run down the face of a smiling woman. This is a very direct way of saying that women are always shadowed by the fate set for them by society. Even though the woman seems happy, she is what society made her.
Aggression II, Mikalojus Povilas Vilutis, 1979, From the collection of: Modern Art Center / Modernaus Meno Centras
Aggression II was created at the height of the Cold War. People all over the world were living in fear of governments that had different ideas that their own government. This painting uses a distorted image of a person reminiscent of Picasso's work. The figure has an even more distorted reflection. This perhaps indicates how fear corrupts people's views of each other.
Obey - Shepard Fairey, mural from the show at Magda Danysz Gallery in 2007, Obey - Shepard Fairey, 2007, From the collection of: Museum of Street Art
This street art by Obey uses collage to demand peace. He combines several propaganda-like images and gives them punny slogans mocking wartime leaders. Most of the figures displayed are carrying weapons. All of the guns have roses in their barrels, symbolizing peace.
Mural by Banksy, Banksy, From the collection of: Global Street Art Foundation
Bansky is one of the world's most renowned street artists. He is known for his poignant statements on society. In this piece he mocks the seemingly ineffectiveness of laws. He is saying that a) graffiti can change things, and b) being illegal isn't enough to stop people from doing what they want.
Indian Alley snapshot, Andrea LaHue, Sketchy, Bandit, Free Humanty, Teachr, Shepard Fairey, 2014-04, From the collection of: Random Act Projects
This work is a collaborative effort among several prominent street artists. You can see each individual section that the different artists did, but the mural comes together well to form a cohesive whole.
The future Demands Your Participation, Mark Titchner, 2006, From the collection of: British Council
Mark Titchner uses an electronic style to ask people to pay attention to the future. He wants them to actively take part in what is going on around them today, so that the future of tomorrow is one that we will want. The style he uses reminds us of technology and gives the work a futuristic, Jetsons-like feel.
Brain wash, NEBERRA, 2014-05-01 - 2014-11-01, From the collection of: WOOL | Covilhã Urban Art Festival
Neberra Wool's "Brain Wash" is another example of street art determined to make a statement. The artist depicts a person with their head trapped inside a television set. The head itself is done in black and white, while the rest of the work is in color. This suggests that it is easy to get caught in the whirlwind of today's media and this seriously narrows our outlook on life, effectively brain washing us.
2005/2014, From the collection of: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation
This is a "Brief History of US Interventions in Latin America Since 1946." As its name suggests, it is very simple. There are black hand prints on a white background, which kind of look like bloody hand prints on a wall. This is a not-so-subtle way of saying that US interventions have been far from peaceful or beneficial. They've likely done more harm than good.
Credits: All media
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