Saturday, 25 June 2011

Olympic Posters

Living in Greater London, I'm subjected to BBC London News' interminable updates on Olympic doings: moans and groans about ticket allocations, legacy quibbles, funding of sporting facilities and so and so forth ad nauseam. I'm paying for it and I'm sick of it. However, The Telegraph has published a critical survey of Olympic poster designs which I found interesting (title link). Olle Hjortsberg created the first Olympics poster in 1912 for the Stockholm Summer Olympiad. It featured a male nude with ribbons tied round his thingy and was banned in some places. Jean Droit’s poster for the Paris Summer Olympiad 1924 took the Greco-Roman ideal of male beauty a step too far with a chorus line of male gays delivering Nazi salutes! I'm afraid the 1936 Berlin Olympics poster is still my favourite with its golden warrior towering above the horse-drawn chariot atop Carl Gotthard's Brandenburg Gate. Walter Herz’s design for the 1948 London Olympics comes second with its classic discus thrower against Big Ben. The Telegraph disapproves of Primo Angeli's poster for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, but this is the first poster to feature what must be a female athlete, judging by the small waist and curvaceous bottom (note the classic Greek profile, which is asexual). Not since the 1900 Universal Exhibition in Paris (CLICK) has a female athlete been featured. As the only events I'm likely to view are Ladies Gymnastics and Ice Skating, both of which exhibit great artistry, I think it is high time a woman was shown on the next Olympics poster (CLICK).


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