The bigger picture: an examination of socially conscious art and design produced by Armando Milani and John Quigley in collaboration with the United Nations
thesisposted on 23.05.2021, 13:16 by Azza Abbaro
This thesis explores the ideology of the United Nations (UN) as manifested through external visual communications materials which have been produced in collaboration with artists and graphic designers since the organization’s inception in 1945. Initial research showed frequent usage of the symbols of the dove and olive branch, which have been known to connote “peace” over time and across a variety of cultures. A detailed examination of two specific works of socially conscious art and design, Translating War Into Peace and Pablo Picasso’s Peace Dove by Palestinian Children in Jericho, shows the multilayered and more meaningful adoption of these symbols by their respective designer Armando Milani and artist John Quigley. Using the theoretical framework of visual social semiotics and the “visual grammar” outlined by Gunther Kress and Theo van Leeuwen in their seminal work Reading Images, this paper examines how Milani and Quigley have produced compositions that represent how the UN views peace— namely, as a process that requires not just ending wars but working to continuously build peaceful infrastructures.