Fine Art of Advertising: Irreverent, Irrepressible, Irresistibly Ironic

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Overview

Two great traditions—fine art and American advertising—intersect, interact, and explode off the page as ad man Barry Hoffman examines the twentieth century's appropriation of highbrow art to sell us the products we love.

Filled with vibrant ads that playfully use art-history icons—such as da Vinci's Mona Lisa, Michelangelo's David, Botticelli's Venus, and Warhol's soup cans—as well as rarely seen commissioned art from masters such as Willem de Kooning, Jacob Lawrence, and Rene ...

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Overview

Two great traditions—fine art and American advertising—intersect, interact, and explode off the page as ad man Barry Hoffman examines the twentieth century's appropriation of highbrow art to sell us the products we love.

Filled with vibrant ads that playfully use art-history icons—such as da Vinci's Mona Lisa, Michelangelo's David, Botticelli's Venus, and Warhol's soup cans—as well as rarely seen commissioned art from masters such as Willem de Kooning, Jacob Lawrence, and Rene Magritte, Hoffman shows how the boundaries between fine art and advertising have disappeared. In fact, today's cutting-edge artists, such as Damien Hirst, Barbara Kruger, and Jeff Koons, are all part of the ad game.

Seasoning each provocative chapter ("The High Art of Class Lust," "Pop Goes the Easel," "The Greatest Degeneration") with wry observations from art world personalities and advertising luminaries, Hoffman shows us how narrow the gap between art and advertising really is.

So if you like art (even though you don't follow it closely), and advertising (even while you hate the fact that you can't escape it), the irreverent, irrepressible, irresistibly ironic Barry Hoffman gives you Both for the Price of One.


About the Author:
Barry Hoffman, a Managing Partner and Executive Creative Director at Young & Rubicam in New York, has written numerous award-winning ads and television commercials for a wide variety of accounts. He has served as a judge for the prestigious Steven E. Kelley Magazine Advertising awards as well as the Andys and Clios. Prior to his distinguished, ongoing career on Madison Avenue, he earned a Ph.D. in American Literature at Harvard and taught literature courses there and at the University of Massachusetts.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Hoffman, who earned a doctorate in American literature from Harvard and is currently executive creative director of the global marketing company Young & Rubicam, blurs several disciplines in this book, from fine art and advertising to sociology and history. Hoffman traces the history of advertising and shows how art, as a symbol of high culture, has been effectively used to soft-sell everything from soap to undergarments. After asserting his central thesis-"Class lust is what motivates the appropriation of a work of high art to sell the work of mass production"-he provides a fast-paced but powerful analysis of American sociology and mass psychology. He writes convincingly, his choice of art and ad images (150 full-color) is superb, but the book design is heavy-handed. For a more critical view on the state of advertising, see Sergio Zyman's The End of Advertising As We Know It or the magazine Adbusters. Hoffman's book would be a valuable text at the undergraduate level for students of sociology, mass communications, advertising, graphic design, or even fine art. Libraries of all sizes would benefit from including it in their collections.-Stephen E. Turner, Turner & Assocs., San Francisco Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781584792222
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/28/2003
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 9.37 (w) x 10.37 (h) x 0.62 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2003

    Art in Ads

    This is a book that will appeal to everyone interested in the connection between art and advertising, how they have influenced each other and continue to do so. It provides a short course in both art history and ad history. The writing is alive and engaging. There are hundreds of ads accompanied by the art that influenced them. Missing, however, is any mention of the early Kodak ads based on photos by Ansel Adams, Paul Strand, Edward Weston, and more recently Paul Caponigro, Jerry Uelsmann and others.

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