Poster power

A new book cel­e­brates the iconic art­works of graphic de­signer Mil­ton Glaser

Esquire (UK) - - CULTURE -

The work for which New York artist, il­lus­tra­tor and graphic de­signer Mil­ton Glaser is sec­ond-best known is a poster that was in­cluded with Bob Dy­lan’s 1967 great­est hits al­bum, one of the 450-plus posters he has de­signed since 1965. (His best known? The “I Heart NY” logo, de­signed in 1976 in the back of a taxi­cab.)

The im­age shows a black sil­hou­ette of Dy­lan in pro­file, his curls swirling into psy­che­delic rain­bows, but, as Glaser re­veals in a new book, Mil­ton Glaser Posters, it was in turn heav­ily in­spired by a 1957 self-por­trait by Mar­cel Duchamp: “the dif­fer­ence be­tween in­flu­ence and pla­gia­rism is not al­ways clear,” he writes.

It’s this kind of mildly sar­donic, self-dep­re­cat­ing com­men­tary that makes Mil­ton Glaser Posters an en­joy­able read, though, of course, we’re here for the pic­tures, which range from posters for Ste­vie Won­der and Ma­halia Jack­son con­certs and the New­port Jazz Festival to an ad­vert for dog food.

Glaser, who co-founded New York mag­a­zine in 1968 and was awarded the Na­tional Medal of Arts by Pres­i­dent Obama in 2009, is now 88, still at work and, as the poster he de­signed in the wake of 9/11 shows, very much at the top of his game.

— Mil­ton Glaser Posters (Abrams) is pub­lished on 27 March

Pop art (clock­wise from top left): ‘Dy­lan’ 1966; ‘I Love NY More Than Ever’, 2001; ‘50 Years of Vespa’, 1996

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