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The artist

At the start of this collection were giant, backlit images by Kodak, in the hall of the Grand Central Station in New York, which the firm used at the time to proclaim its photographic omnipotence. Used as advertising tools in the legendary Manhattan train station from 1950 to 1990, the plastered images were transparent and backlit, with exceptional dimensions spanning 18 metres wide by 6 metres high. This was a first in the world of photography. Through their spectacular, almost surrealistic stagings, these panoramas became communication tools in service to the promotion of the brand’s film and cameras. In true soap-opera style, for over 40 years Kodak Colorama Display staged the story of an ideal family without contradiction or contestation, in other words, the very expression of the post-war American dream, in its most pleasant and universally adoptable form. George Eastman Museum © Eastman Kodak Company  ... See more See less

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About the artwork

Naturally, the images of the Colorama collection served above all for the commercial promotion of products of the Kodak firm that we perceive in each presentation. These panoramas refer to the common and classic theme of the passage of time, showcasing the function of the camera, as a way of capturing and conserving the best moments of a life, whether it be birthdays, family gatherings, weddings, or holiday scenes. However, through their aesthetic and ambition, these monumental formats surpassed the advertising norms and technological prowess of the era. They tell the story of an ideal family and produce, in so doing, a deliberately patriotic and conservative discourse on 1950s and 1960s America. In this colourful promotion of the “American Way of Life”, the counter-culture seems non-existent and everything appears pure behind the dazzling colours and frozen smiles of cheerful characters.

Artwork details

Date photograph was taken

17 April 2018

Artwork subject

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