Thursday, January 6, 2022

DAVID CARSON - MAD Arts Dania Beach

I spent a couple of hours yesterday morning, exploring the David Carson exhibition currently on display at MAD Arts Dania Beach. The collection chronicles Carson’s extensive body of playfully organic compositions, which—at the beginning of his career—challenged the grid-focused status quo of layout, and now has become a standard in expressive type & image design. 

The exhibition is presented in a series of adjoining rooms, beginning in a formal gallery setting showcasing a series of framed fine art collages—recently featured in projects for Macallan Whisky and Porsche. Produced in 2021, the collages are some of the latest works. These organic pieces call attention to the exploration of basic design—line, color, form, proximity, pattern, texture… and are the result of manipulating actual physical elements to produce cohesive compositions. 

As you move through the exhibit, one of the adjoining rooms features a large glass case displaying numerous books and periodicals. The surrounding walls are adorned with Carson’s iconic magazine covers for Ray Gun, Transworld Skateboarding, and Surfer Magazine. A few steps away—the room opens to a massive “mural” presentation, highlighting various poster and print samples for David Carson’s career.

Other rooms within the exhibit include graphically embellished surfboards, a beautiful series of pieces created from the single phrase “Your Wave is Coming,” a video interview with the artist, and a room of screens displaying a variety of mesmerizing NFT’s of Carson’s work. The work is beautifully presented and the exhibition is a "must see" for both artists and designers. 

XHBTN: THE ART + GRAFIK DESIGN OF DAVID CARSON is free and open to the public and will run at MAD Arts through February 19, 2022. MAD Arts is located at 481 S. Federal Highway in Dania Beach, FL.

On September 8, 1954, Carson was born in Corpus Christi, Texas. He went on to study Sociology from San Diego State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He touched upon graphic designing briefly while attending a two-week commercial designing class at the University of Arizona, in 1980. Subsequently, he attended the Oregon College of Commercial Art to study graphic designing and a three-week workshop in Switzerland as a part of his degree. He also took up a teaching job at a Californian high-school where he taught for several years. Besides, his many talents include professional surfing and he was ranked 9th best surfer in the world, in 1989.

David Carson is a prominent contemporary graphic designer and art director. His unconventional and experimental graphic style revolutionized the graphic designing scene in America during 1990s. He was the art director of the magazine Ray Gun, in which he introduced the innovative typographies and distinct layouts. He is claimed to be the godfather of ‘grunge typography’ which he employed perpetually in his magazine issues.

David Carson's past client list includes Microsoft, Macallan, Armani, Porsche, Nine Inch Nails, Nike, Adidas, Bose, Budweiser, Carver Skateboards, Album surfboards, John Coltrane, David Byrne, Armani, Prince, American Airlines, Apple, Samsung, and many others.

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