These invitations were designed as a collectible display piece with longevity and multi-use functions, such as the glitter cube that serves as a photo frame. Invitations for the Luminocity Gala 2014 still sit on people’s bookshelves.
– Ellen Bruss, EBD
Every once in a while we’ll be happily opening our mail when bam! – it’s as if someone’s let off an awesomeness grenade. In this instance, the explosion of creativity was the result of one of the most volatile creative combinations since Lennon & McCartney: Ellen Bruss Design (EBD) and the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. Their invitation packaging for the 2015 Luminocity Gala employs many of the techniques we’ve come to expect for this annual creation – laser and die cutting, scoring, etc. This one, however, doesn’t simply say “Save the Date” so much as cry “Shock and awe!”
Last year, a portion of the funds raised during the museum’s Luminocity Gala fund-raiser “were designated for the support of ‘Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty,’ an exhibition that explored the evolution of Minter’s style and mode of production throughout her ongoing career,” explains EBD’s Ellen Bruss. “Minter’s work served as the primary inspiration for this piece. It is glittery, glamorous and often provoking using a variety of mediums (e.g., paintings, photographs, video works) to simultaneously define and critique the illusion of glamour.
“EBD used a variety of colors, textures and techniques in designing this invitation to reflect Minter’s unique and bold style as well as her use of close-up imagery captured from characteristically dynamic and provocative angles.”
If anything, EBD has surpassed the artist by enhancing strong visual textures and patterns by laser cutting some of the artwork, while framing other parts of that artwork with clever diecut phrases like “Playful Steamy.” (If the title of the exhibition hasn’t clued you in yet, Minter’s oeuvre seems best summed up as “sensual spontaneity” – think: adults frolicking around in children’s art supplies.)
“The diecut, cross-shaped wrap, [technically an “iron cross” fold] which layered laser cut text with colorful foil-stamped and glittered designs, contributed to a unique design that was characteristic of Minter’s work,” Ellen explains. “The laser cut image of Minter’s original artwork on the back of the invitation also helped make this design a collectible display piece.”
Finally, that wrap encased a liquid-filled, glitter-cube picture frame keepsake, with the whole shebang packed neatly in a gold box with hot-pink crinkle paper.
As Minter herself once explained, “I’m trying to create an image of my truth that other people will look at and say, ‘Oh, that looks real. I know that.’ I just maybe take it a little further.” With this package EBD saw Minter’s “further” and went further still…and further in this case is a glorious, glorious thing.
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