German Pop Art – Schirn Gallery – Frankfurt

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SF took a little trip out of Berlin recently and decamped to Southern Germany, and to Frankfurt, a city which is known as the financial centre of Germany, we took in the Schrin Gallery for a little bit of German Pop Art action.

A dentist's chair... of some sort

A dentist’s chair… of some sort

Pop Art, everyone likes it, everyone is familiar with it and it is probably one of the least offensive forms you are likely to find. It is always laced with a kind of humour, it feels comfortable for all walks of life to appreciate. The use of everyday well known brands, images and icons makes the experience more inclusive for the viewer and less elitist, well that’s what SF reckons.

Germany in the Pop Art era, an interesting time, known as the swinging 60’s in some places, German’s were still living somewhat under the cloud of ‘that’ war but also Berlin was divided with different nations claiming their piece of the city. One area that was growing was a Pop Art movement and this exhibition gives us a small insight into some of the work from that period, combining film, sculpture, painting and movement, the curation by Martina Weinhart is a delightful myriad of colours and forms.

Here are a few of our most favourite pictures from the exhibition…..

Pop cowboy

Pop cowboy

Lipstick bombing

Lipstick bombing

Cry baby film

Cry baby film

Something from the Old Country – Solarbox

British icon

British icon

Nice little idea to turn something so very iconically British, but that had maybe outstayed it’s welcome. The world famous red telephone box is now largely used for one of the following: 1. Pissing in. 2. Smashing up. 3. Taking drugs in 4. Making a call. It was time for a revamp.

We all love the red phone box as much as the old routemaster red bus and the red postbox, they are design classics, they are something to behold and be proud of. They have also been under threat for one reason or another. While designs hold keep rampaging forwards it is ok to keep some of the classics in place.

Even the 'Old Bill' are impressed

Even the ‘Old Bill’ are impressed

Solarbox, a clever idea thought up by two LSE students will be popping up across the capital in the coming months, the first is on Tottenham Court Road, it simply means you can go in and plug in your phone and charge for free when you are out and about, the energy comes (as the name suggests) from solar power and did we mention it is free. Well it is paid for by advertisers, so you will have to watch a few ads while you charge, but that is life. Get over it, we are advertised to 24/7, it ain’t going anywhere.

The simplest ideas are always the best, if they can benefit the environ then even better, if they mean that those useless smartphones do not end up with zero battery by noon on a day out, then this is a bonus.

Follow the Solar revolution here

Godfather of Pop Art – Roy Lichtenstein

Lichtenstein @ Tate

Lichtenstein @ Tate

One of the most seminal artists of the modern era and one that even a heathen would recognise. Mr Roy Lichtenstein was born in 1923 in Manhattan New York, the exact place that he died some 73 years later, by this time he had influenced a generation with his take on art and his use of modern advertising and imagery found in comic books.

AM:FM

AM:FM

Blue pictures

Blue pictures

Dot work

Dot work

Beach

Beach

The exhibition currently running at the Tate Modern in London is a whistlestop tour through his stages in thirteen rooms, from his early discovery of his now iconic styles through experiments, sculpture, Chinese Song dynasty influences and up to the end of his life and his artistic career.

Pop sculpture

Pop sculpture

Along with Warhol, Jasper Johns, James Rosenquist defined a movement and one of the most exciting ones ever, the influence of modern brands taking art away from more traditional areas and injecting some humour and irreverence.

Pop Chinese

Pop Chinese

It has been said that Lichtensten actually was fed up with being seen as purely a pop artist  and his iconic use of dots to create depth and shade actually limited his scope of work. Unconfirmed but you would can forgive the man for feeling that way.

Pop interaction

Pop interaction

Lichtenstein: A Retrospective at the Tate Modern London runs until May 27, plan to book your tickets to avoid queues and disappointment. One of the finest exhibitions around and worth a re-visit. SF will be heading there again soon

David Beckham and the sperm donor

 

SF is not the usual place to find preening footballers, especially ones who are quite so over exposed but being as this is a blog about marketing, art, fashion, tattoos and general perving…. Monsieur Beckham makes the cut on this occasion.

Focused marketing

Focused marketing

Today saw the launch of Becks new kecks, basically he is good at selling pants and since leaving CK to create his own line for H&M his coffers have swelled more than the underwear of a gaggle of gays standing outside H&M staring at Golden Balls close up.

These days it is not good enough just to launch a new line, you have to do something more. Sports brands have this down to a tee with their epic adverts featuring stars such as the Brasilian football squad, superstar ballers such as Kobe, Tiger and the Irish Tiger etc. On this occasion H&M added Becks to a very well known Brit director and former Madonna sperm donor and a bit of Hollywood dazzle to create a Becks knob fest.

Originally planned for 30 seconds (apparently) the ad is a full 90 seconds of David running around in his smalls after getting locked out of his house. It is a ridiculous premise but it is an ad so that matters not.

What I find more interesting than the big name combos, the setting, the storyline, the extended cut, the underwear, the hype about the premiere on Channel 4, etc, etc is that back in October, media worldwide were awash with stories about Becks being caught in his underwear and unsuspecting tourists coping an eyeful.

A masterful marketing guy getting a little bit of pre – interest, and free publicity for H&M and Brand Beckham or just an accident. I’ll leave you to make that call.

Either way I’d hazard a guess that most straight women, gay men and even some straight men would happily remove that pair of H&M undies. SF would only do it to find out if it is true that he has a Prince Albert

Who knew Belgians were so funny?

In the past Belgium was known for chocolate and peodos… until Austria took that last crown. But now maybe they can be seen as inventive and creative marketeers, pranksters even. This week StandardFact spotted this beaut, it has done the rounds already by now but if you have not seen it. It is a brilliant piece of advertising which plays on human natures natural inquisitive tendencies. Hats off to TNT television station, they know drama. Only 15 million views in 3 days….

Apols for the Belgium joke, only kidding ya’l

Before festival season…..

Is festival booking season, I was reminded of this today whilst reading the Metro on the tube and spotting an ad for Lovebox, which has improved immeasurably from the shite Groove Armarda on repeat borefest of Clapham Common to the cool East London version which features the super gay Sunday oral aural excitement featuring Horse Meat Disco, Gutter Slut, Azari & iii and the Rapture.

A dancing cartoon cock is still a cock

Only gays can get away with featuring a cartoon cock on the advertisement in a national newspaper. Amazing

In other news, booking my euro adventure this year I am choosing between Sonar, Melt, Garden, Electric Elephant etc etc for my European swaray, I am veering towards a Sonar return but Melt has a ridiculous line up and was amazing last year. Hmmm… maybe both…

UK Festival preview to come…

Christmas party season is all about the walk of shame….

Woman or man, young or old, gay or straight, drug addled or hung over, every self-respecting (ahem) person has done the walk of shame before. There is no way of hiding it from those ‘normal’ folk who have had their 8 hours sleep and are dressed in day attire rather than the remnants of last night’s fabulous outfit. Sunglasses and a Capri Sun are a dead give-away in December…

I did not post this sooner as I had my work Christmas do last week and was enjoying my long walk of shame. I am just getting back in the swing of things, so props to Harvey Nicks who have created this witty and playful video depicting the walk of shame travelled by glamorous women in their party frocks. It is perfect for a viral video for knowing urbanites to send around to their friends but would not work as a campaign on TV or in a glossy mag, it amuses while avoids alienating.

When an ad has everything but still does nothing…

That is one busy scene

The new Müller advert entitled Wünderfull Stuff really aims to strike the chord of nostalgia doesn’t it…. The ad starts with a grey background and everyone’s fave speaking car, Kitt from Knight Rider being harassed by a pesky traffic warden, only for Müller to save the day. Hooray!

I am not going to go through all the details because frankly I could be here all day, but will say it seems that every cartoon character suggested in the ‘thought-shower’ was included in the final cut. Then slowly but surely everything is turned happy as all our childhood faves join the advertising party, but it does not stop there, the ‘masterpiece’ is set to music which I am sure was taken from Pirates of the Caribbean, I’d have preferred something from Hook. I am probably being harsh because they did not use any of the Thundercats which I think is a travesty.

So back to the nostalgia…. Well one thing I would like to say is that Müller did not really play a big role in my childhood, nor that of my friends and therefore the nostalgic theme of the ad seems a little strange. Now if it had of been a Sodastream, my lucky neighbour had one and I was jealous. Wham bars, they were the ultimate in tooth rotting treats, I ate many. Coco-Pops were a staple part of my breakfasts through until uni. A summer walk home was not complete without at least three Mr Freeze ice-pops and every lunchtime at school would be started and usually finished with Space Raider crisps.

The Wünderfull Stuff campaign kicked off with a super expensive ad slot during the X Factor on the weekend and is a part of a cool £30million integrated campaign, they have a Facebook page which has 17,000 likes so far but not too much content, plus billboards in prominent spots as well as slots on major releases in the cinema….maybe there will even be the chance to get some stuffed toys.