I was recently struck by the two Time Magazine covers dedicated to the upcoming Presidential elections. One featuring the Republican party and Mitt Romney and the follow up, a week later, covering Obama and the Democrats. It made me think about the power of art and design to influence. We often hear that if FDR ran for President in the lens of modern-day media, he would never have been elected. His cabinet and advisers went to great lengths to make it appear he was not afflicted with polio, from setting him up at photo shoots before the cameras arrived, to making excuses about a twisted ankle when he would meet dignitaries for the first time and couldn’t respectfully stand. Now with an increased visual media presence, we have to wade through layer after layer just to get to our own thoughts on the subject… if you’re patient enough to make it there.
How much power does visual art have to influence us as our candidates are presented? What message are you getting from these two contrasting images. Black and white-‘simpler times’ and nostalgic or old and out of touch? The man in front or behind the title? Laughing, visible eyes, body language, jacket or no jacket, etc. What message is Time selling? How would you visually present your point of view and where else do you see influential art and design?