Lockdown. Variations on a Theme

From self-certificates to pop collages. Quarantine through the eyes of visual art

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Lockdown. Variations on a Theme
30/04/2020 - Creativity is one of the most effective ways of coming to terms with difficulty. To prove this point we shall have a closer look at reactions of artists and creative minds to the pandemic and the lockdown. Collage, drawings, ready-made or infographics, there are many different ways to recount moods, situations and characters that have become part of the collective imagination.
 
Indeed, in recent weeks the web has been teeming with initiatives addressing the various aspects of the deep crisis caused by the coronavirus: the difficulty of health workers in coping with the emergency, the feeling of isolation deepened by restricted social interactions, the time spent at home between work, TV series and yoga classes.
 
Federico Russo and Matteo Brogi, two young Romans, came up with the idea of transforming self-certificates into art. What to do with all the wastepaper produces by the latest instrument of Italian bureaucracy, practically obsolete when printed?
Aspettando Banksy - Autocertificazioni illustrate

Aspettando Banksy - Autocertificazioni illustrate

Their project uses standard printing paper as background for Cattelan’s banana, or turns it into one of the latest and most discussed works of Banksy. The website “Autocertificazioni illustrate” shows also the most interesting works submitted by visitors.
Banana su autocertificazione Autocertificazioni illustrate

Banana su autocertificazione Autocertificazioni illustrate

The Dutch studios Lennarts & de Bruijn + overdeschreef joined forces for the project “Stay Sane Stay Safe”, meant as a moral support for all the medical staff involved in fighting Covid-19. The website features 1400 drawings from 79 countries that can be downloaded or printed, sent to healthcare facilities or shared on social media to express support and appreciation. Themes widely range from a Pop-art Queen Elizabeth to cinema posters and posters of television series addressing the lockdown.
Poster by Rachel Shields - Stay Sane Stay Safe

Poster by Rachel Shields - Stay Sane Stay Safe

 
Poster by train_a_spotting - Stay Sane Stay Safe

Poster by train_a_spotting - Stay Sane Stay Safe

With the aim of raising funds for the Red Cross, the Milanese design and communication studio CaroselloLab created “Designers Against Coronavirus (DAC), a digital archive showing the state of emergency as seen trough the eyes of designers, illustrators and creative minds from many different countries. Every single work selected is being presented with the real story behind it.
Sign of Summer - Poster by Grace JKim - DAC

Sign of Summer - Poster by Grace JKim - DAC

The illustrations of interior Designer Carla di Benedetto show the magic and irony of the objects we have around us, not unlike the works of the great Italian designers – Achille Castiglioni, Bruno Munari, Alessandro Mendini – that served as her major source of inspiration. “I live in a parallel universe where pieces of furniture come to life and become our pets. I love to add details, and to create such an image feels like furnishing a room.” Magic and irony are also the most important traits of the illustrations made for Archiproducts that recount the icons of design, or of “Dinner for two, quarantine edition”: in quarantine a mirror can suffice to create the impression of having supper in company.
Carla Di Benedetto - Dinner for two, quarantine edition

Carla Di Benedetto - Dinner for two, quarantine edition

Fernando Cobelo, a Venezuelan illustrator and currently resident in Turin, collaborated with Barilla for #Acasaconbarilla, a project on Instagram consisting of a series of works that reinterpret the meaning of the word “window”. With collage techniques and a clean, defined and sometimes deliberately infantile trait, Cobelo offers glimpses of everyday life. One of these images is showing an apartment building which, in spite of the apparent isolation, manages to create a moment of sharing and closeness. “It’s heartwarming to see so many acts of kindness among neighbors across Italy.”
Fernando Cobelo on Instagram

Fernando Cobelo on Instagram

Minutes”, a story by Dedar illustrated by Icinori, puts focus on various everyday activities we feel deprived of, both as individuals and as social beings: a picnic, a car ride, a hike in the mountains or a rock concert. The illustrations are an invitation to relive those moments, through creativity and in our imagination, and to remember their true value also when the crisis will be over.
Minutes - Icinori for Dedar

Minutes - Icinori for Dedar

Illustrator Elena Boils, in collaboration with Herman Miller, has created “Workstations”, a graphic manual for setting up a home office during lockdown. Furniture, chairs and office accessories – the brand’s classics sharing the domestic environment with children’s toys or home fitness equipment.
Elena Boils for Herman Miller

Elena Boils for Herman Miller

Postcards from Quarantine” is a series of illustrations by Alvaro Palma and Alvaro Bernis. Drawing inspiration from touristic postcards, the project is aimed at sharing impressions from residential confinement imagined as vacation, offering a humorous pretext for writing to loved ones from a relaxing weekend trip to the bathroom.
Postcards from Quarantine on Instagram

Postcards from Quarantine on Instagram

French artist Malika Favre writes daily about the different aspects of being quarantined at home, regularly publishing illustrations on her Instagram account. Her vivacious minimalist style, settled somewhere between Pop Art and OpArt, runs through the infinite possibilities of combining colors in positive and negative forms. Optical and two-dimensional patterns become the balcony of a building from which a girl can be observed, or a curtain to hide behind while peeking through the window.
Malika Favre on Instagram

Malika Favre on Instagram

Online Yoga session, social life reduced to video calls, chatting with the neighbor as pastime, binge-watching and becoming a couch potato – the vignettes by visual artist Jean Julien illustrate the lockdown with drawings that combine basic lines with rich colors and strong contrasts.
Jean Julien on Instagram

Jean Julien on Instagram

 
 
La solitudine delle penne lisce - Autocertificazioni illustrate

La solitudine delle penne lisce - Autocertificazioni illustrate

Hanno riaperto i barbieri - Autocertificazioni illustrate

Hanno riaperto i barbieri - Autocertificazioni illustrate

Esci ad Aprile - Autocertificazioni illustrate

Esci ad Aprile - Autocertificazioni illustrate

Poster by Sofia Fascia - Stay Sane Stay Safe

Poster by Sofia Fascia - Stay Sane Stay Safe

Poster by Studio Lennarts & de Bruijn - Stay Sane Stay Safe

Poster by Studio Lennarts & de Bruijn - Stay Sane Stay Safe

Stay Home Game - DAC

Stay Home Game - DAC

Gold toiletpaper - Poster by Xaviera Altena - DAC

Gold toiletpaper - Poster by Xaviera Altena - DAC

Carla Di Benedetto X Archiproducts

Carla Di Benedetto X Archiproducts

Minutes - Icinori for Dedar

Minutes - Icinori for Dedar

Minutes - Icinori for Dedar

Minutes - Icinori for Dedar

Minutes - Icinori for Dedar

Minutes - Icinori for Dedar

Postcards from Quarantine on Instagram

Postcards from Quarantine on Instagram


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