'BYRONESQUE OFFLINE,' Featuring Craig Ward Mural, Nominated for CLIO Image Award
"BYRONESQUE OFFLINE," a shoppable retrospective that feted the one-year anniversary of vintage e-commerce and editorial site Byronesque.com – and featured a 700-square-foot mural by B&A's Craig Ward – is nominated for a CLIO Image Award (Engagement/Experiential).
Ward received a copy of Jens Peter Jacobsen's poem "Company of Melancholiacs" from Byronesque.com CEO and editor-in-chief Gill Linton and creative director Justin Westover. The text is about "a secret confraternity ... who by natural constitution have been given a different nature and disposition than the others ... that wish and demand more ... than that of the common herd." And it "sums up why we started Byronesque – because pandering to 'the common herd' has [gotten] out of control," Linton explained. "We wanted to create something more provocative, more polarizing."
The artist responded to the brief with an enormous mural using layered wheat-pasted posters installed in Manhattan's former James A. Farley Post Office for three days last December. "It dealt with the idea of emotional layers and the masks we wear from day to day – the image we project ... versus what lies beneath," Ward said. "Icons of masks and fragility were juxtaposed with images of strength and sat alongside bold and raw typographic pieces. Through layering and tearing these posters, we revealed other messages, with each line trying to cover up, or being revealed by, the next."
Westover wanted to partner with Ward for some time and "this seemed the the right project to approach him with ... Craig totally grasped the melancholy spirit of the poem, and the décollage technique that he used really accentuated the fragility in the text and made it feel like an integral part of the derelict space," the creative director remarked. "It ended up being much larger than we originally discussed – we're very grateful he didn't get put off by the vastness of the space ... there's no doubt that the finished mural perfectly complemented the rest of the installation in the vault and was definitely one of the most talked about parts of the whole project."
Regarding the CLIO Image Award, "We're definitely the underdogs in the game, and what we did was very underground by comparison, so we were surprised when we got the call," Linton noted, "but it is testimony to everyone who helped make it happen. We were blown away by how people threw themselves into making it better than we could ever have imagined, including Craig and his team."
Ward added: "Shiny things are always good! Honestly, I'm not huge on awards, but it's great when your work is acknowledged by your peers." The winners will be announced May 7.