Baptized by Beefcake: the Golden Age of Hand-Painted Movie Posters from Ghana, a Special Exhibition Tour with Angelina Lippert
Monday, January 13th
Time: 6.30pm - 7.30pm
Location: Poster House, 119 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011
Money Snakes, Revenge Ghosts, Black Market Body Parts -- join Poster House Chief Curator, Angelina Lippert, as she explores the hidden beliefs and practices of modern Ghanaians as they are revealed in movie posters from the 80s and 90s. This tour focuses on Baptized by Beefcake: The Golden Age of Hand-Painted Movie Posters from Ghana, an exhibition chronicling a brief period in the country's history when Pentecostalism, local superstition, and American pop culture collided to create a multi-layered, over-the-top form of advertising.
Angelina Lippert is the Chief Curator of Poster House in New York City, the first museum in the United States dedicated to the history of the poster. She holds an MA in the art of the Russian Avant-Garde from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, and a BA in theology and art history from Smith College. She is the author of The Art Deco Poster, and has lectured at SVA, The Cooper Union, Columbia University, and The Sotheby's Institute of Art. She is also a contributing writer to The Muse by the Clio Awards, where she focuses on the history of advertising design. She is on the Board of Directors of the Ephemera Society of America, and is an editor for Vintage Poster magazine.
About the Exhibition:
Baptized by Beefcake presents the work of 22 artists whose posters tell the story of how Western movies not only became symbols of modernity, but also vehicles for religious experience. Each artists signature style reflects Ghanas rich tradition of painting, as well as the influence of Western commercial graphics portrayed on VHS and PAL box covers. The eye-catching, sometimes shocking graphics reference a hybrid of indigenous and Pentecostal symbology, where Rambo and the Terminator become messengers of moral ideologies in a larger-than-life mashup of pop culture and religion.
This show focuses on the Golden Age because the posters from this period were meant for a local audiencethey were aimed at attracting rural Ghanaians to a new type of technological pageantry and storytelling. After the year 2000, tourists began to express interest in these fantastical objects, driving the prices up and creating a new market where artists painted these posters explicitly for export. This exhibition only shows posters targeting locals, highlighting regional styles that emerged between the coastal and inland areas, different artistic hands that became famous during the period, and the types of visual signifiers Ghanaians expected and loved to see in their own advertising.
Poster House (View)
119 W 23rd Street
New York, NY 10011