All Media Wallpaper and Paintings
A graphic designer working in the Netherlands, Mieke Gerritzen explores the cultural impact of mass media through publications, exhibitions, videos, and events. Through her not-for-profit organization, All Media, she mobilizes the bombastic language of tabloid newspapers and hard-sell advertising to create a new kind of billboard that spreads ideas rather than selling products.
For an exhibition of her work at the Mudac Design Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 2007, she commissioned a factory in China to create a series of hand-rendered paintings of her posters. Ordering the paintings over the Internet, Gerritzen provided the manufacturer with digital files that factory workers converted by hand into one-of-a-kind art objects. The painting Everyone is a Designer began as a book (published in 2003) consisting of slogans, headlines, and logos about the pervasive grip of media around public and private life. Gerritzen argues that everyone can become a designer by taking charge of communications tools—if not, they risk being designed themselves by the constant barrage of sales and marketing messages.
Gerritzen’s Celebrity wallpaper, also presented in her 2007 exhibition, consists of fifty small-scale portraits of famous people, from Saddam Hussein to Mickey Mouse, stepped and repeated to create a dense pattern that enacts the obsessive logic of celebrity, with its relentless broadcast of familiar faces. Gerritzen’s pattern is a colorful blur when viewed from a distance; it exposes its crowded cult of personality when viewed up close. Gerritzen, who produces limited-edition silk scarves based on her patterns, updated the Celebrity pattern in 2009 to include new icons of fame and power, including President Barack Obama.Location: the netherlands