Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Posters by Folon

Occasionally you find an artist whose works and/or words speak to you on so many levels that you cannot fully articulate the how and why. Folon is such an artist for me.

After recently discovering the illustrated cards and envelopes by this Belgian artist in Lettres a Giorgio, I went in search of more artwork by him and was able to track down a collection of his posters. 

Beautiful!  Above is one I call 'the eye tree.'  About this image, Folon said, "Outside my studio window there's an apple tree that has never borne any fruit. I still hope that it will produce something one day. It's been thinking about it for years now. I suspect that it's planning a surprise."

On the morning that I received this book of posters, I had taken a photo of the view from my office window, of a crab apple tree ready to blossom:

Now when I look out the window at that tree, I see white eyes . . . I wonder if the tree is 'planning a surprise.'

Another Folon poster, done for the Festival d'Avignon, reminds me of the multiple traces of an author's self that he/she leaves on each page:

And then there is this one, which I refer to as 'chopped feet':

About this poster, Folon said, "'The times they are a-changing',' goes Bob Dylan's song, and so they are. The past is erased only to be replaced by what is temporary."  

What do you see in that poster?  I keep thinking of someone who cannot move because he has neglected his foundation, or has parceled himself out in pieces, or . . .

This next poster is one of my favorites, perhaps because I love trees and I love the placement of the 'unusual' or 'unexpected' image of the chair in the center:

Of this poster, Folon says only, ". . ..[it] was made for an exhibition on the theme of the tree at Jacques Marquet's gallery in Paris."  

Why the giant chair in the center? And then I see the branches coming off the back of the chair, and I think of wooden chairs and their legs like trunks and the way one thing (tree) becomes another (chair, poster/paper) . . .and on the mind spins.  

I wonder what you are thinking when you see these images. I wonder what other things you see.

(Posters by Folon, Harry N. Abrams, Inc., NY, 1978.) 


  1. This work is beautiful indeed! Thank you so much for sharing.

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  2. Sharon -- this is not a real philosophical thought about the poster with the chopped pieces of legs. I laughed when I saw it as it reminded me of my old knees that creak and groan. Maybe this man had the same problem and thus solved it. -- barbara

  3. I've been catching up on your blog this morning. Love your tribute to your mom. And this introduction to the work of Folon. Do you have the artistic skill to decorate your envelopes? It would take a year to answer a week of fan mail if you decided to decorate each envelope. I love your comment about the slices of the author on every page and as for your "chopped feet"...after walking and walking in the rain yesterday, this image suits me perfectly.

  4. "Chopped feet" suggests an inability to go forward. That can very well be the case if life is not being lived authentically.

  5. I believe that "Chopped feet" symbolizes an inability to move forward. If life is not being lived authentically, there is often a feeling of resistance—of being held back.

  6. L'arbre c'est magnifique!Merci pour partager!
    et bon week-end

  7. I like Folon's work very much; It's very poetic. He was very famous in France, and even worked for french TV, for which he decorated the screens.