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Art Deco

Art Deco, a flexible and decorative art that changed history.

The staple style during the 1920s and 1930s, with its geometrically futuristic linear design, Art Deco was applied in every field, including architecture, furniture, interior design, graphic design, fashion and typography. Its simplistic, symmetric, fluid and futuristic design was easily managed and breathable, in contrast to the frilly Edwardian Art Nouveau designs. It took the world by storm after the 1925 Paris Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (although some claimed that the movement started as early as 1910), influenced by works of Romain de Tirtoff (better known as Erté), historical arts like Aztec, Egyptian and Mesopotamian, Art Nouveau, Bauhaus, Neoclassical, Futurist, Cubist and other modernist style movements. And its forms went on to every World's Fair from the 20s and 30s, then spread to all over the world. Although the term Art Déco is commonly used, the term was actually coined in The Sixties during its resurgence after its popularity declined about World War II.

Often this style is found on Diesel Punk and mostly Raygun Gothic settings.


Examples that include the art form or is applied about Art Deco:

  • Romain "Erté" de Tirtoff's fashion illustrations.
  • Most of Tamara de Lempicka's paintings.
  • The French Fashion Magazine La Gazette Du Bon Ton that ran from late 1912 to 1925 is a forerunner of this, composing of at the time cutting edge fashion designs illustrated by artists like Georges Barbier, Pierre Brissaud, Paul Iribe and Erté.
  • New York City skyscrapers, like the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building, are heavily built on Art Deco.
  • Nowadays derisively-called Stalinist Architecture of the 1933-1955 period in the Soviet Union was a heavily politicized derivative of Art Deco and Post-Constructivist movements.
  • The fifth installment of Civilization has some influences in Art Deco, particularly in the user interface.
  • Scenes based on Art Deco is featured on My Life as a Teenage Robot.
  • The 1990s DCAU is heavily influenced on it.
  • The artwork for Florence + the Machine' Ceremonials invokes Art Deco, along with the music video for "Spectrum".
  • The design team admitted to basing the sandminer sets in The Robots of Death on Art Deco.
  • The film The Rocketeer had Art Deco leanings in it the design of the Rocketeer costume, and the promotional posters were done in this style.
  • A lot of the architecture in BioShock 1's Rapture is of Art Deco design, drawing a lot of inspiration from 1930's and 40's American architectural styles. The game's pause menu also has a heavy Art Deco influence.
  • The indie fighting game Skullgirls borrows a lot influences of the Art Deco style (stylized as "Dark Deco") and the Golden Age of Hollywood. The music, composed by Michiru Yamane of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night fame, incorporates jazz-styled music of the 1940s to go along with the game's art direction.
  • The titles in most of the promotional materials for The Great Gatsby (2013) are stylized in Art Deco.
  • The opening titles of Poirot are absolutely pure Art Deco, using a mixture of animation and stage sets with live actors.
  • The Abominable Dr. Phibes is set in the 1920s and has some gorgeous sets, particularly the house interiors of the main characters.
  • Rather funnily, an entire class of automotive design which emerged during The Great Depression and died hopelessly during The Fifties, the "aerodynamic fastback" style. Most widely-known examples: Lincoln Zephyr and Cord 810 / 812. It relied on a specific set of conditions to be met: relatively low-powered engines were not quite the best for performance (original VW Bug had barely 24hp!), yet the roads were still sparsely-populated with cars, so designers went to aerodynamic body shapes to increase efficiency and speed like in advanced aircraft of the time, and also to break with the tradition of frilly, horse-carriage inspired earlier designs. Once the new high-compression engines came after the early 1950s, there was less interest in aerodynamics.
  • Tony Harris and his successors on Starman gave Opal City a markedly Deco look.
  • The Sierra Madre Casino in the Fallout: New Vegas DLC Dead Money is designed in art deco style (as is quite a bit of the rest of the Fallout universe to varying extents).
  • Cloudbank in Transistor has some obvious art deco influences, mixed in TRON-like aesthetics in a Midgar-esque cyberpunk setting.
  • Ayn Rand is widely associated with art deco, as the style's bold lines and dramatic ambitions fit nicely with Rand's soaring, grandiloquent style and view of human achievement.

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    The Roaring TwentiesB-Movie
Photography and IllustrationArt TropesArt Nouveau

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