After a long, cold winter in New York City, spring is here, and with it, a new SVA subway poster series, “Make Art @ SVA,” by MFA Design Co-Chair Steven Heller, who provided art direction, and alumnus and faculty member Viktor Koen (MFA 1992 Illustration as Visual Essay), who designed and illustrated the works.
This is not the first time Heller and Koen have collaborated. In 2012, the two worked together to create “The ABCs of SVA” (below). “Viktor is my creative soulmate,” Heller says. “I come up with the slogan and he interprets it in ways that are magical and mysterious.”
Each poster of the pair’s latest series features a head-slash-hand holding a particular artistic implement and surrounded by an array of additional creative tools, a way of communicating the wide range of courses that SVA offers as well as celebrating the infinite means of expression that are available to creative types today. “It’s important for these posters to communicate a multiplicity of choices,” Koen says. “The hand is a natural extension of the mind, and [the act of] making is wired directly to the brain.”
With their draftsman’s marks and notebook-paper backgrounds, the posters are suggestive of a creative process that is “messy and expressive, but above all productive in images, design or motion,” Koen says. “[It’s] the type of art-making that needs protective eye goggles.”
“Make Art @ SVA” will appear on 400 New York City subway platforms through May 31, and a poster from the series has been added to “Underground Images,” the traveling exhibition of SVA subway posters, which is currently on view at the Korea Craft and Design Foundation Gallery, in Seoul.