Influences/studio File.

Corita Kent. (1918-1986)

American artist,designer teacher and Nun (a multi-hyphenate of her time) Corita Kent has provided me with a lot of inspiration for this block of work.

She worked mainly in silkscreen using bold colour, typography and collage.

Stop the Bombing 1967

Kent was influenced by pop culture and advertising. She wanted to spread positive democratic messages (she was involved in civil rights, anti-war and feminist movements) to the masses during the 1960s and 1970s.

The juiciest Tomato of All. 1964

Screen printing enabled her to disseminate her work, she wanted her art to be affordable and widely available. Kent wanted to “capture the public imagination in order to influence social change” ( Her work appeared on billboards, book covers and posters.

Artist Ben Shahn described Kent as the “joyous revolutionary”. Which leads me nicely on to talk about him as my next source of inspiration.

Ben Shahn

1898-1969 American Artist/ Born in Lithuuanian.

Shahn is an artist associated with making narrative art that looks at social and political injustice. I’ve found him quite an interesting artist to research, one particular fact I really like about him is that Shahn was part of a group of artists who formed an artists union in the mid-1930s.
Whilst primarily known for his paintings he did like to mix his practices to include photography and print (he was an apprentice lithographer), I am particularly interested in his protest posters in which he uses his quirky style of lettering.

From Shahn’s book “biography of a painting” 1956

I love that he created his own form of lettering in 1940 called the “Folk Alphabet. Based on the Hebrew alphabet he was interested in the importance of space around the letters as well as the shape of the letters.

Is this where I move forward with my own work?

Similarly to Kent; Shahn wanted to combine his practice with his desire for social reform.

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