Ads Libitum Injects Classic Ads with Pop Icons
A history of culture can be found in the strangest and most unexpected ways, including vintage ads. In a recent series, artist David Redon manipulates classic advertisements from the 40’s and 50’s and injects them with modern pop icons that anyone can name in mere minutes.
Redon, an ad agency art director, juxtaposes history and modern day in “Ads Libitum,” causing a clash of period-specific culture. The ads, still recognizable apart from their modern celebrities, are quintessential images that immediately transport the audience to days of yore. The prim and proper manners of the fifties, the dynamic call of political posters — all of it reminds one of the values of the past.
Then we introduce a little bit of Kanye and Drake, and everything is changed. Easily identifiable, these pop culture icons seem completely out of place with their background. This isn’t due to a lack of artistic ability to merge the two together; rather, Redon nearly blends the opposing subjects seamlessly and mimics the style of every ad perfectly. But it’s the fact that we know Pharrell doesn’t have anything to do with toothpaste, and that Beyoncé isn’t attempting to lead a political movement.
Two things not usually associated with high culture or history — ads and pop culture phenomenons — each come to define the time period they come from. While the musicians certainly have their merit, and the ads aren’t completely without artistic value, these aren’t the sort of things we send up in a space craft as an example of the complex human race. At the same time, however, pop icons and ads are perhaps among the most influential aspects of any culture. It’s nothing new to hear the persuasive power of advertising that only gets increasingly strategic. Pop icons clearly carry an impressive role in modern society, as is evident by any magazine stand you pass by. These are two forces that although unconventional, capture their time of existence with vivid clarity.
Redon presents us with a warped time capsule from the Twilight Zone, and if nothing else, it’s visual delightful.