We stared at this old-timey poster commissioned by Governor Andrew Cuomo to trumpet his administration's accomplishments, looking in vain for a cynical opening to criticize a politician's shameless attempt at self-lionization. Sure, there's the guy adjusting his Dish Network device atop the Tappan Zee Bridge and the fact that the Rent Regulation building appears to have been boarded up long ago. Also: why isn't Cuomo ramming the sea monster of Corruption/Bureaucracy/Apathy with a 1975 Camaro? But we've got to hand it to Cuomo and the Brooklyn artist (yep), Rusty Zimmerman, who painted the poster: it's a hell of a lot better than 2010's controversial commission, Feces-In-Chief.
Cuomo tells the Times that the idea for the poster came
after he spent all weekend watching Boardwalk Empire after seeing a campaign posted from William Jennings Bryan's failed 1900 presidential campaign.
“I like history, and that school of art was interesting to me,” Mr. Cuomo said on Wednesday, pulling the Bryan poster off his wall and asking an aide to fetch him a magnifying glass to assist him in examining it. “There are a lot of campaign posters, but we wanted to do something a little different.”
Yes, nothing brings out the nuance of a campaign poster quite like a hand lens—why, it's enough to make a governor wish he could stop advertising on the iridescent electrik picture-box and summon your supporters at your front porch, where there's always a piping hot rutabaga tart on hand and you can speechify over the gentle haze of the citizenry's glowing pipes.
“So much of what I do is trying to communicate with people,” Mr. Cuomo said, “and you’re wondering: Are you connecting? Are they understanding what you’re saying? This is actually an interesting exercise for me: distill what you’re trying to say. How would you communicate it to a person graphically, visually, and what context would you use to communicate it so that it hangs together?”
“The governor will tell you he’s a fan of the iterative process,” Mr. Zimmerman said. “We went through a lot of fine-tuning and a lot of different ideas—trying with or without a number of elements.”
No word yet on whether Governor Cuomo will accept that job offer from Huge.