The pleasant voice on the phone had a thick Russian accent. She introduced herself as Luba Lukova and began to explain...
Your review of Maggie Macnab's "Decoding Design" included one of my pieces, and I wanted to know if I can send you my new book of posters called "Social Justice 2008"
If it's good enough for Maggie to include in her book -- I wanted to take a look. The conversation was over in moments and I soon forgot about it. Some weeks later, the front desk reported there was a UPS delivery for me -- an oversized, flat package. Upon opening the package I was taken with what I discovered.
Social Justice 2008 is a book of posters beautifully packaged in a spectacular slip-cover which features Luba's own sketches and thumbnails from the art in the posters. The package is 14.5 x 21.5 inches and includes 12, ready-to-frame, posters . As I flipped through the posters, I saw an inarguable trail of social commentary so striking I knew at once these prints need to be framed and on the wall.
But this is not about the book or its packaging. It's about the statement Luba makes with her art. Fingers nailed to the pads of the flue for censorship; a skeletal umbrella for health coverage; and spliced into a tree trunk for an immigrant. This is truly strong stuff! (enlarge)
Dovetailed somewhere between Picasso's wood-cut years and German Expressionism, Luba's stark statements require but two or three colors to say a thousand words -- undeniable words -- about societal conditions. (enlarge)
Luba comments in a 2001 Portfolio Center interview:
"No matter the scale of the work I do, it's first and always the idea and the emotion and the meaning I put into it, and it matters little if the piece is called fine art or graphic design. If you put enough seriousness into what you do, people always respond to it, so I don't mind so much how the art critics label my work."
This collection swiftly and ably showcases Lukova's masterful use of metaphors and symbols to express themes that include peace, war, ecology, immigration, and privacy. Her distinctive style and vigorous visual imagination distill issues such as these into deceptively simple, yet formidably brilliant images, images that not only transfix, but that have the power to become indelible.
Few other artists have actually managed to capture complex issues our society faces in this election year and yet each poster speaks to the viewer in an accessible and honest way. Surrounded by a case featuring hundreds of Lukova's preliminary sketches, this portfolio can only be categorized as a tour de force. We believe you'll be seeing more and more of Luba's work as she's discovered by more and more buyers -- and you can bet she'll be referenced in the best graphic design studios and classrooms around the world!
Visual expression like this can only be described as possessing greatness.
Luba Lukova, now living in New York, is an internationally recognized artist and designer. Her powerful posters are exhibited around the world and have won many awards including World's Most Memorable Poster award at the International Poster Salon in Paris. Her distinctive art has been featured in The New York Times, Time, and The Nation.
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