A Pair Of Butts, But It’s No Joke

They’re supposed to be the leading young creatives in the business. But last Thursday, they kept bringing up the rear. Two rears, in fact—and with heads up them, no less.

At the opening reception for the Art Director’s Club’s Young Guns 4 show last Thursday, talk was not only about the work of the 39 designers and creatives under 30 being honored at the show but also the design of the invitation to the event. In stark black and white, the invitation (a detail from which is shown here) features a crowd of people looking at pictures on a wall that show figures standing on the backs of other figures. Two of the people looking at the pictures have, ahem, other people’s heads up their butts.

The designer, Jan Wilker of karlssonwilker inc. in New York, says the image was meant as a metaphor for the schmoozing that goes on in the advertising and design industries. But some didn’t appreciate the provocation. Two older (undisclosed) ADC board members took offense and didn’t want the invite to go out. “It’s a joke,” Wilker says about the controversy.

The invitation did go out in the end, but the debate continues: The brouhaha inspired the ADC to create a panel discussion, “Is Taste Generational? Is Taste Cultural?” scheduled for Sept. 23, according to ADC executive director Myrna Davis.