What do movies mean to you?
This was the prompt provided to the seven artists invited by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to create campaign artwork for this year’s Oscars ceremony, set for this Sunday, April 25, in Los Angeles.
Each was asked to reimagine the iconic Oscar statuette in the medium of their choice.
The artists’ respective designs, shared in the lead-up to the awards ceremony on the Academy’s various social media channels, span a number of styles and influences.
Dallas-based designer Temi Coker drew inspiration from the vibrant patterns and colors of his home country of Nigeria and the larger African diaspora for his take. “I knew I wanted the statuette to be black as a way to honour all of the Black actors and actresses who paved the way,” he said on Instagram.
Mexican textile artist Victoria Villasana embedded constellations of woven threads in a print of the Oscar statuette, while Australian illustrator Karan Singh channeled Op-art for his own hypnotic visual.
Meanwhile, New York designer Shawna X took a more straightforward approach to the prompt, offering up a trippy depiction of Mr. Oscar set against kaleidoscopic shapes. “We watch movies (and they watch us),” she said, as if channeling Nietzsche.
The campaign was conceived under the Academy’s “Bring Your Movie Love” theme for this year’s production. The idea, according to an announcement from the organization, is to celebrate “our global appreciation for the power of film to foster connection, to educate, and to inspire us to tell our own stories.”
For movie buffs, the slogan will surely ring familiar. The Academy has leaned hard into messages of inclusivity since its controversial 2015 ceremony, when all 20 acting nominations were meted out to white actors. With the momentum of Black Lives Matter still fresh, the move prompted outrage online. The controversy even got a name: #OscarsSoWhite.
Since then, the hashtag, which is based on a tweet from a campaign finance lawyer and veritable movie junkie April Reign, has come to represent issues of representation and discrimination writ large in Hollywood. It’s spawned numerous related movements, such as #Time’sUp, for victims of sexual harassment in the industry, and #WhiteWashedOUT, for the Asian Americans.
See some more Oscar campaign images below.
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