“In this there is no measuring with time, a year doesn’t matter, and ten years are nothing. Being an artist means: not numbering and counting, but ripening like a tree, which doesn’t force its sap, and stands confidently in the storms of spring, not afraid that afterward summer may not come. It does come. But it comes only to those who are patient, who are there as if eternity lay before them, so unconcernedly silent and vast. I learn it every day of my life, learn it with pain I am grateful for: patience is everything!
– Poet. Rainier Maria Rilke
Tree’s start out small from a tiny seed and grow into these great strong ever powerful organic forces of life. They don’t rush for anyone, they grow slow and steady, knowing that they will make it to where they are meant to be in their own time. From afar, they are symmetrical, but the closer you get you can see with all of the intricate detail that one by one each branch and leaf is unique and beautiful. A tree is quiet and it is strong, it provides shade, oxygen, beauty in summer spring and fall and it also brings inner peace. Its presence of just being still reminds us that it is okay to take time to breathe and just be. And, it even dances in the wind.
The poster above is an advertisement designed in 1967. Mr. Louis Sudano, the owner and designer of the DYNAMITE DISCOTHEQUE in Brooklyn. The place was advertised as the world’s largest discotheque at the time. Illustrated by George Jay Rogers, the illustration grows, like something from nature, starting from the center and outward, like a root. It looks symmetrical from afar, but when you look closer you will see that there are small intricate organic shapes throughout. The message from the illustration narrates the groovy trip you’ll be stepping foot into when you enter this Dynamite Discotheque.
There was even a radio announcement, ‘Dynamite is Dy-na-mite! Located in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn on 1830 Coney Island Avenue, near Avenue O Brooklyn.‘
During the late 60’s, ideas from eastern culture were growing infused with modern society. The club and the ad for Dynamite Discotheque evolved with this movement. Beatles member George Harrison’s interest in the Eastern culture had an enormous influence into the west, Harrison was “leading his band mates on a spiritual quest towards Eastern philosophy and finding inner peace, which greatly influenced their work during the later 1960s” (1).. Planting the influence of the Sitar from Ravi Shankar and Transcendental Meditation under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi into their music, spreading Eastern Culture into modern and pop culture, rapidly carried over with the wind (aka. radio waves).
The poster is 16 ½” by 12 ½” in size. You can see the right and left side of the design are symmetrical figures with a little bit of freedom. Giving it a closer look, the border of the poster is filled with small organic shapes that fit together resembling henna design, an eastern tradition of temporary tatooing (4). The picture is lively, emotional and busy. With just enough flat space to keep you from getting dizzy
Using only black and white lets it be simple amongst all the crazy intricate details. Large bold black eye catching capital letters with serifs are hand drawn standing right above a flat portrait of a mysterious woman’s face. She has “…Eastern mystical (features) in stylized, flat graphic form” (3). The flat artistic features of her face resemble artwork similar to full frontal clarity style of the ancient Egyptian artwork. The illustrated facial features consist of almond shaped eyes, full lips and a distinct nose. Her necklace looks like jewelry inspired by eastern society. Her long, wild, tangled hair gives hints to Medusa, a character from Greek mythology. And in fact patrons of this nightclub state that in the entrance of this space they are welcomed with a giant rendering of the same ladies head, designed to portray Medusa, which indeed was Medusa. Painted in day glow colors glowing in the night, her hair spread throughout each exotic room of the club. It’s a wonder no one turned to stone. The night owls that came to visit this club were welcomed to enjoy the onion dome arches, yoga mats, a rubber room to bounce around, a juice bar cafe, and a room to dance in, carried by a tune from a musical band. Not to mention, the Brooklyn based band Alive and Kickin‘(5) took root in this club. This for sure sounds like a place where you can relax and just be.
The same artist that illustrated this poster also finished the walls of Dynamite Discotheque. The theme of the poster is consistent carried throughout the partitions of the night club. “The whole area is indescribably enhanced by luminous murals designed by by George J. Roger, tasteful renderings of Egyptian and Indian themes” (2). Following through the poster design, the woman’s portrait, surrounded on her left and right side with a bold black vertical organic stripe design that will lead you through to the lower letters whose purpose is to explain the reason of this poster, which is to invite party goeers in to the Dynamite Discotheque night club.
And with this eastern cultural movement we are left with awesome music, yoga, and a better understanding to be like a tree and let things be. To transfuse with nature and let nature take over sometimes.
And so, despite the stormy weather, the wind, and the snow, the branches and time goes by and leaves still flourish when they are supposed to. The tree makes it to where it is to be at the right time. You’ll see that we can be like that to if we just let things be.
I can go on and write the lyrics of the song ‘Let it Be’. I think that we all need to pay a visit to Dynamite Discotheque, have a seat on a yoga mat with our juice from the juice bar and listen to the Beatles “Let it Be”, as time goes by and our rushes are carried away through the strands of Medusa’s hair blowing in the wind.
(This post is not complete yet. There are still works to be cited and visuals to be added. Please stay tuned.)
1 Kozinn, Allan. “George Harrison, ‘quiet Beatle’ and lead guitarist, dies at 58.” New York Times (Late New York Edition) December 1, 2001: A1, A24
2 Gross, Aelx. “DYNAMITE DISCOTHEQUE.” THE east village OTHER
3 Aynsley, Jeremy, “A century of graphic design.” Great Britain: Octopus Publishing Group, 2001
4 Mirza, Zaynab. Mehndi Body Painting. London: Carlton Books Limited, 1998. Print.
5 Alive and Kickin’. Tighter, Tighter. Roulette Records. Alive and Kicken. 1970. Record
6 The BEATLES. Let It Be. Apple Records. Let It Be. 1970. Record