Riding Habit Revised a column where the best and worst of equestrian fashion and decor is reviewed with a modern edge.
For years it was nearly impossible to see a foreign film, and particularly an American film, in Poland. During the communist era, films under went painstaking review by the Artistic Commission before they were cleared for screening to the general public. And even if they were approved, usually years after their original release date, the U.S. publicity materials and marketing campaign remained forever banned.
This situation probably sounds like the height of creative oppression to you, and it many ways it was. But, in the communist government’s attempt to stifle foreign films, they, perhaps inadvertently, gave Polish graphic artists a lasting opportunity to shine. Enter the wonderful world of the polish movie poster.
Homegrown polish artists and graphic designers were commissioned to create alternative movie posters. Unconstrained by the need, or ability, to make more traditional poster covered with big letters and movie stars, these artists were free to express the movie’s message as he or she saw fit. The results were often abstract, surreal and beautiful.
But why should we, as counter-culture equestrians care about this art form? First, because many of the movies from this era were westerns, and thus resulted in a stunning collection of equine art when the films were reimagined for a polish movie poster. In fact, starting on February 16 and running through June 1, 2014, The Denver Art Museum will be presenting polish movie posters in a showcase called Rebranded: Polish Film Posters for the American Western. Drawn entirely from the Autry National Center of the American West, Rebranded features 28 original posters by some of the most recognizable Polish artists, including Jerzy Filsak and Wiktor Górka. You can read more about the exhibit here.
But perhaps even more exciting to me and Riding Habit Revised, is the fact that prints of many of these posters are readily available for purchase, granting us equestrians and opportunity to be bring high equestrian art into our homes and stables without relying on more conventional choices. Click on the images below to see how you can make this look your own, and stand up in your own small way to the conventions that attempt to stifle our equestrian community!
1. The Misfits by Jerzy Jaworowski (1962)
2. Saddle The Wind by Maria Syska (1958)
3. The Horsemen by Jan Mlodozeniec (1973)
4. Horse Of The Steppe by Jerzy Flisak (1979)
5. The Valdez Horses (aka Chino) by Jerzy Flisak (1977)
6. Rancho Texas by Jerzy Flisak (1959)
7. Rodeo by Maciej Zbikowski (1974)
8. The Rounders by Wiktor Gorka (1969)
9. Oklahoma! by Witold Janowski (1964)
10. My Fair Lady by Michal Ksiazek (2010)
If this last movie poster doesn’t immediately strike you as equestrian art, consider this. This iconic image of Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady is taking from the Ascot scene in which character Eliza Doolittle famously and boisterously attends The Royal Ascot Horserace. Talk about another equestrian enthusiast bucking more than a few conventions!