Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Politics and Design: The New Yorker cover

As has been widely reported, the July 21, 2008 cover of the New Yorker magazine has been become a major subject of debate and controversy. Illustrated by Barry Blitt and entitled “The Politics of Fear,” the cover depicts presidential candidate Barack Obama and his wife Michelle as caricatures of anti-American sentiment, illustrating some of the accusations that have been attributed to them during their campaign.

David Remnick, editor of the New Yorker, discusses the cover here.

While some interpret the cover as satire, others have labeled it slander, believing that the New Yorker should not have had it published. Whatever your perspective, Kate Rawlinson, Wolfsonian Assistant Director for Education and Public Programs, points out that the cover controversy “connects to issues around propaganda, visual literacy, and personal perception,” and relates to the overall mission of The Wolfsonian. Indeed, the New Yorker cover is insightful in terms of the Thoughts on Democracy exhibition, particularly since some ToD artists are contributors to the New Yorker.

Feel free to leave your comments about the New Yorker, Thoughts on Democracy, or, more generally, the relationship between politics and design on this blog.

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