WSU Art Museum: Aaché Howard-McDaniel

“If White People Didn’t Invent Air” by Dread Scott
Screen Print, 2001, 24 X 18 inches

The example I chose to write about from our visit to the WSU Art Museum is by the visual artist Dread Scott. He makes revolutionary art to propel history forward. While he was a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, he first received national attention due to his arts transgressive use of the American Flag. I found this piece interesting because before I even did any research on the artist, I could already tell what kind of art he created. Based on the words and the photo, I could tell this piece was criticizing history. The words read “If white people didn’t invent air, what would we breathe?” These words seemed powerful to me, and it made me want to know more about the piece. What also caught my attention was how the author was able to put the text on top of the photo without taking away from the image or text, they balance out really well in my opinion. This made me think about how I wanted to design my poster for project 2. I had an idea of including a  photo but I thought it would be hard to make the text stand out without taking away from the overall poster design idea. How the artist used black and white with a color that wasn’t too bold but also not too soft or the contrast, really made this piece successful. This piece gave me some ideas and rules to follow if I would like to make similar design choices. Since I am using song lyrics, I thought about maybe creating an album cover type of poster. Instead of the artist, the title of the album, or even cover art being the main focus I wanted the selected lyrics to be the main focus. Overall, this piece helped me see that my idea is possible to do without losing the complete meaning of the piece.

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