“What better fate than that of a poster. You created it. Other people interpret it. You’re appealing to the memory of the man in the street. It must speak to people instantly. Your image will have to compete with the city. But you want to make yourself heard. And if your poster’s a good one, it will live on in fragments in people’s memories.”
From his first poster for a short film by Maurice Pialat in 1961, to his final one, in 2005, publicising his exhibition in Florence, Folon left his mark on the world of poster art and on the public imagination.
In stark contrast to the poster art of his time, with all its photos and typographical effects, the artist created an unusually coherent world. He experimented with a radical economy of means, based on the rudimentary use of line and the emotional charge of colour – coloured inks, screenprints or watercolours or coloured pencil. His vocabulary consisted of a few basic signs – arrows, human forms, masks, eyes, hands, birds, etc. – which he combined in his projects, experimenting ad infinitum with synecdoche and metamorphoses, all liberally infused with humour and poeticism. Simple, immediate, gentle and inventive, Folon’s posters combine a powerful message with a lasting appeal. Folon is thought to have created more than 600 posters over the course of his career. The Fondation Folon owns many of them.
Most of the posters were offset printed and Folon was very careful in his choice of printers. Several of his posters, and some of the most beautiful ones, were silkscreen printed.
For more information see:
A. Weil, K. Scheerlinck, I. Douillet-de Pange, Folon. Les affiches, Les Cahiers dessinés, Paris, 2020