You've been reading some old letters --
You smile and think how much you've changed.
All the money in the world
Couldn't buy back those days.
These are some of the lyrics to This Is The Day by The The. I was thinking about this as I was cleaning out the flat files at home and came across some of my student work. Unfortunately, I found that I haven’t changed. I might be a little smarter and definitely have a bigger waist size, but damn if those colors and the whole attitude looks the same. This means either I have a strong and consistent vision, or I have one idea that I keep banging out repeatedly.
I made these projects in 1986, my last year at CalArts. Yes, they have little new wave in them, but that was what you did in 1986. I rather like the Olympics poster, but the Neo Youth project is scary. I remember it was a proposal for a monument to Los Angeles. This was the idea: L.A. is obsessed with youth. It needs a monument, rather than building a big statue, create an organization of young people who would travel around town and help people. The more good work they did, the more medals they would get. This would take the place of the latest Guess jeans as a status symbol since everyone between 14-18 would be in uniform.
Yes, you may be saying, this sounds quite a bit like Nazi Youth, Young Pioneers of China, or the USSR’s Communist Youth Organization (Komsomol). I may be rather dense at times, but this was part of the concept. If being young were a religion in Los Angeles, go all the way. Of course, now I realize that I was wrong; the uniforms were probably too trendy.