Gunther Kieser, one of Germany’s most prominent graphic designers, created this wild and wildly colorful poster for the Berlin Jazz Festival in West Berlin in early November 1989.
This amazing poster is made from an original collaged artwork of the head of a musician. The enormous, mask-like face fills the entire poster. The roughly torn pieces of paper of the original collage create facial contours that are jagged, with no delicate lines or features. The facial expression is one of intensity, and the bold colors convey this message as well. The poster projects the energy, restiveness and soul of jazz as it breaks free from more traditional music norms. This musician would be a powerful presence on the stage.
American musicians including Mel Torme and the Wynton Marsalis Septet were among those who entertained the audience at the 1989 Berlin Jazz Festival. Interestingly, the festival occurred just a few days before East Germany began allowing its citizens to freely cross the border between East and West Germany, and the excitement of this long-anticipated event must have added additional energy to the festival.
Gunther Kieser (b. 1930) created many posters for contemporary music icons in his long career, including those for performances by Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Jimi Hendrix, The Who and The Grateful Dead. He won many international graphic design awards and his work, which predates the digital age, has been exhibited worldwide.
This fabulous poster will attract attention no matter where it is placed.