Created by Larry Rivers for the 1988 Spoleto Festival in Charleston, this interesting poster features the abstract image of a suited man holding aloft a banner that reads “Spoleto.” Rivers' plate-signed signature appears in the bottom right of the poster. With its red, white and blue colors, the poster has the vibe of a political campaign poster, perhaps a nod to the 1988 presidential campaign season which was warming up at that time.
But if Rivers is alluding to politics, his observation is tinged with insight and sly humor, as our candidate is doing a precarious balancing act on a beam, with one foot in the air and both arms raised -- a maneuver many candidates for political office would no doubt recognize.
Or, one could liken the candidate's pose to that of a gymnast on a balance beam, and perhaps the Olympics coming up in Seoul at the end of the summer was on the artist's mind. In any event, the 1988 Spoleto Festival, with its start over the Memorial Day weekend, kicked off a memorable summer.
American artist Larry Rivers (1923-2002) was a jazz saxophonist who studied at Juilliard before he began painting in 1945. His artwork has been described as "unique," as he drew from both Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. You can see both influences in this work.
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