Gagosian Gallery: Hulk Elvis Identity

A recent Gagosian London show of new paintings by the irrepressibly pop-cult kitschy Jeff Koons, known as the Published on

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A recent Gagosian London show of new paintings by the irrepressibly pop-cult kitschy Jeff Koons, known as the "Hulk Elvis" series, owes its visual identity to the New York office of Base, an international creative direction and brand development firm. "In approaching this project, we were careful to keep the graphics and typography clean, contemporary and minimal," says Base partner Geoff Cook. "Yet at the same time, we couldn't ignore the strong pop orientation of Koons' work." Indeed, as the Gagosian Gallery notes in its press release for the show, in the "Hulk Elvis" series "a charged mix of inflatable monkeys, geishas, birds, the Incredible Hulk, and the Liberty Bell jostle against realistically rendered landscapes, gestural paintings, steam engines and horse-drawn carriages, negative silhouettes, and underlying dot screens." For the identity and promotional materials, which included a show invite, posters, the catalog, and newspaper and magazine ads (a pair of the latter are seen here), "our idea started with Koons' treatments of surfaces and layers, which led us to present the written information in a layer on top of his work," says Cook. "The paintings themselves are only partially revealed, cropped in closely to focus on dynamic details. The knockout text block gives only glimpses of the work underneath, building further intrigue." A similar package was created by Base for a concurrent show of Koons' sculptures, known as the "Popeye" series, seen at Gagosian London's companion gallery. 
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