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Cuba Style: Graphics from the Golden Age of Design
Heller's latest collection is a time capsule of Cuba as it was in its hey-day as a lively tropical resort colony for those in search of music, liquor, gambling and hot Cuban romance. Capturing the ideal golden days of their prosperous country, Cubano graphistos from the 1920s to the 1969 revolution are now beautifully represented.
Synopses & Reviews
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the national republic of Cuba. To usher in the centenary, Steven Heller and Vicki Gold Levi have collected hundreds of vintage graphics of Cuba from the 1920s to the 1959 revolution. Cuba Style recalls the days of glory when the island was a veritable resort colony for Americans and Europeans who came in search of Latino music and dancing, gambling, tropical romance, and the best beaches in the Americas.
To advertise these attractions, Cubano graphistos combined elements of Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Bauhaus modernism, and Vegas-style kitsch in a distinctly Cuban sensibility. Cuba Style, the first book of its kind, reproduces a treasure trove of graphics from popular magazines, packaging, posters, and indigenous products such as liquor and cigars. It is a visual history of Cuba in its golden age as well as a wellspring of capitalist extravagance, seen here through the rare graphics of its extraordinary and now lost popular culture.
Book News Annotation:
Touring the commercial graphic culture of pre-Castro Cuba, photography curator Levi and senior art director for The New York Times Heller present color reproductions of postcards, tourism advertisements, cigar boxes, music poster, hotel advertisements, and other items that combined graphic styles from the United States with a distinctive Cuban style. A brief introductory essay extols the virtue of this "golden age" of graphic design, noting that Cuba was portrayed as a "paradise" (for wealthy Americans and Europeans).
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
About the Author
Steven Heller is the art director of the New York Times Book Review. He is the author of over ninety books on graphic design, popular art, and satiric art. He lives in New York City.
Vicki Gold Levi is a historical picture editor, photography curator, and author who has worked for Esquire, Mirabella, and New Woman. Co-founder of the Atlantic City Historical Museum, she lives in New York City.
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