by Art Chantry:
this is one of those weird little things that totally changed my thinking. i found it in the trash when i worked as a garbage man back around 1973. it’s some sort of italian design magazine (just the cover. i tore it off and kept it – tossed the rest of the magazine back into the compactor). i’ve kept this around since then – what is that? almost 40 years?
when i saw this in the garbage, i thought to myself, “what a cool coffee stain on that magazine”. just like ALL the trash in the pile i was dumping into the compactor, this really fit right in – EVERYTHING had stains (coffee, food, urine, just about anything…). but, even though this was essentially ‘camouflaged’ it still caught my eye. it was weirdly compelling.
so, i tore the cover off and took it home and hung it on my wall and stared at it. since that time, i’ve kept it in files and boxes of clip and maybe even displayed somehwere. it fascinated me. i guessed i was impressed with the idea that you could actually PRINT a coffee stain onto a magazine cover and it was all right to do so. such an idea had never occurred to me before i saw this. since that time, i’ve used coffee stains, footprints, use condoms, spit, cigarette butts and spilled beer on just about everything i’ve ever done.
what this obscure little italian magazine cover did for me was give me an ‘epiphany’. it was a moment of understanding and clarity that changed the course of my life. the simple idea that found images and accidental discoveries are legitimate conceptual source material – even PROFOUNDLY appropriate imagery – spun my head around. i never looked back. in fact, i couldn’t even figure out which way my head was pointing for years after that.
i think i owe my career aesthetic to this piece of garbage, designed to look like a piece of garbage, that i found in the garbage working as a garbage man. strange synchronicity, eh?
anybody read itaian? what’s the name of this magazine?
N.B. it was a magazine from the 60s. came out every two months. it was published by the italian industrial group Finmeccanic…a pioneer magazine dedicated to industrial design and technology …