In an art field dominated primarily by men, Joanna Wecht’s work stands out not just because it is eye-catching and full of wit, but also because it has a gender. Wecht exclusively integrates both women and the concept of femininity into her alluring designs.
Originally drawn to art by her intrigue with fashion design, she quickly realized her lack of technical skill. “I couldn’t sew any two pieces of fabric together with any degree of talent,” Wecht recalls. Thus she went on to study graphic design at the Savannah College of Art and Design, where her initial fascination with textures and fabrics in fashion helped her to create a unique style within the context of design and illustration.
She became more interested in collage work and the process of creating handmade pieces – an element that clearly stands out in her posters. “There are no rules,” Wecht says regarding the format and layout for her posters.
“I like strong women and the idea of a firm, ladylike hand in my imagery – but I don’t need to make any kind of political statement.”
Though she has gained more confidence in her digital-art abilities within the past few years, Wecht continues to work primarily by hand, using the computer as a helpful tool when necessary. Her pieces channel the cut-and-paste aesthetic of DIY culture, but they also reflect Wecht’s sophisticated style and edgy design.
“I find images and use them to make new images,” she says. “I am not after any kind of reality but more a sort of imagery that creates a feeling or emotion — in much the same way that music isn’t literal but more a mental and emotional force. I try to make images that make an impact on your brain, way in the back, and not just on your eyes.”
Bright, humorous, and provocative, Wecht’s posters are an exclamatory assortment of collages. The work – much like the artist herself – is full of enthusiasm and sass, veering towards the slightly outrageous. Wecht utilizes retro imagery of iconic female faces and figures to create loud, vibrant rock posters. The found imagery is manipulated and placed within a new context, where Wecht is certain to pay astute attention to typographic detail.
“I like strong women and the idea of a firm, ladylike hand in my imagery – but I don’t need to make any kind of political statement,” she says. “A girl has curves and sass, and music makes a man move in different ways than a lady. We have seen enough of how the boys move, so I don’t need to add to that. That has been covered to death. Let them keep covering it, and I will try my best to do something different. And damn the consequences, if any. Right? Right.”