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Preview: Shooting Ai Weiwei

Ai-Weiwei

Harry Pearce shares insights into a recent trip to Beijing where he photographed renowned artist Ai Weiwei as part of his upcoming exhibition at the Royal Academy. 

I could so easily have just used an existing shot of Ai Weiwei, or a piece of his work for the identity of the Royal Academy show this coming September.

But I wanted to honour him in a far greater way. His inability to leave China and be a part of the show itself meant, I believed, I should go to him. To make something with him and bring it back – so symbolically bringing him here.

New Work: 2015 Los Angeles Film Festival

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The 2015 Los Angeles Film Festival opens today with a bold identity, promotional campaign and trailer designed by Pentagram’s Emily Oberman and team. Produced by Film Independent and now in its 21st year, the Festival runs from June 10 to 18 at L.A. LIVE and showcases 74 feature films—including 39 world premieres—60 short films and over 50 new media works representing 35 countries. Simultaneously strong, colorful and evocative, the branding sets the tone for the extraordinary range of films presented at the Festival.

New Work: Shakespeare in the Park 2015

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Paula Scher’s iconic Public Theater identity goes to pieces in the campaign for this year’s Shakespeare in the Park, the annual free performances presented by The Public Theater at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. This summer’s program pairs “The Tempest”, Shakespeare’s stormy classic about the magic of storytelling, with the fairy-tale romance “Cymbeline”.

Scher’s campaign for the summer performances previews the look of the graphics for the Public’s 2015-2016 season. The Shakespeare in the Park poster campaigns used to exist apart from the fall season campaigns, but over the past few years the graphics for the Public’s most famous program have helped establish the seasonal look for all aspects of the institution.

Playing off the word “free,” this year’s design is handmade and exists as lines of sliced typography that are cut through photography or large-scale words. The tempest of type creates a mini-identity that both dramatically updates and functions within the familiar Public Theater brand.

New Work: It’s All Our Blood

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Harry Pearce explains why he decided to make a poster out of his own blood. 

I was recently asked to create a poster for the ‘Questioning the Bomb’ exhibition launching at the Art Gallery of Maryland in the US this September.

The exhibition marks 70 years since the twin nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, a moment that still resonates as one of the most shocking in human history.

The visual idea and the line came simultaneously. I was looking at ink drops underwater, for a completely different project, and when I turned the picture upside down I saw the mushroom cloud.