Thursday, May 16, 2013

Dima Tannir is going places

Being a "designer" in today's world is not an easy thing - first the appellation is being used left and right by anyone capable to do anything (actually, when was the last time you went to a "barber"? No, you went to hair design studio!). So with this logic (or rather illogic) in mind, it is comforting to know some people have their own identities and capable of bringing fresh outtakes on matters. Which is why Dima Tannir's work has been interesting me for quite some time. Below are samples of her works:
Take here "VICE: It's Iranian men" series. It blends retro kitsch, colours but with a serious socio-cultural streak. Her ability to - not just work with archive - but interpret it as well is very interesting in terms of narrative.
Her cover for Brownbook was nothing short of fun, intriguing, but also thought-provoking. The theme was the "slow movement of the Middle East" (hmmm, it is slow all year round and dead in Ramadan!) but to be able to invoke the nostalgia without delving into pinch-me-so-that-I-can-cry is in itself an achievement.
The poster she did for the Step conference was pop-minimalist if such a genre exists. It suggested playfulness all while conveying innovation and pushing envelopes. It reminded me of a love child between "Gilbert and George" and "Keith Haring". Just the right amount of fun and subtlety.
Her work for Revolver, a newly opened mod bar (as a reference to the swinging 60s in London) was a delight to see. It blended collage, pop cultural references and a degree of obliqueness. Above is one of her interpretations - I truly defy the quasi majority of Lebanese designers to even think of including (the original supermodel) Twiggy in their designs for the simple reason that they wouldn't even have heard of her in the first place. But immersing Twiggy in a Lebanese sauce (look at the reflected images in the sunglasses - Plage St. Simon no less) is in itself a daring feat.

Disclaimer: All works above are copyrighted by Dima Tannir, they were used in a non-commercial way for the purposes of this article.

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