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The brief was to create a poster advertising a production of Naomi Iizuka’s “Polaroid Stories,” a play set in the 1990s that weaves myths and deities from Ovid’s "Metamorphoses" into real-life stories of homeless teens.
To visually capture the script’s juxtaposition of poetry and profanity, I blended incongruous imagery: graffiti in rave-inspired hues crudely crowns a classic sculpture (“Diana of Versailles,” a Roman copy of a lost Greek sculpture of goddess Artemis). She subtly sports a flesh tunnel earring — this is, after all, a contemporary goddess — and wears the fingerless gloves pop culture has come to associate with the homeless, though hers boast the stylish flare of fishnet.
As the goddess detachedly looks upward and into the distance, her large, tattered cardboard sign confrontationally inhabits the immediacy of the foreground, presenting the play’s title (which is hand-painted in cruel, dagger-like strokes) — this underscores the gulf between dreams and reality. Shrouded in dark blue, the poster is accented by flashes of color and light … hope exists even in darkness.
The poster art was successfully adapted into a suite of printed and digital collateral dispersed on the university's campus, Facebook, and beyond, providing recognizable and consistent imagery with which to identify the production.