The Poster

Poster1_200The poster was one of the first artifacts found at Heliopoli. Folded into quarters and preserved by dry desert sand, the image on the poster suffered little from age, except for some fading and perhaps changes in color due to alkalines in the soil.

The poster was evidently a piece of advertising for the city itself, though speculation still runs as to why it was made. Possibly it was a recruiting tool that never got to the point of distribution.

The graphic is a watercolor painting depicting the Great Plaza. The vast expanse of the plaza is evident in its smooth blue surface, etched by white lines that radiate outward from the Solar Disk monolith in its center. These lines of perspective run away, in turn, from the viewer. The monolith crystal upholds an enormous bronze disk and is rendered transparent in a way that only good artists can achieve.

Poster2_200In the background, trees edge the plaza. They are carefully outlined in the style of architects and contain splashes of deep green and lime and yellow. One speculates that the colors were more vibrant when the poster was new, and perhaps the yellow was originally a light green.

The figures along the trees are distant and rendered in silhouette. Other figures walk along the plaza and can be seen clearly.

All of the people are happy. They smile, stand at ease while conversing and casually gesture. The men possess long sideburns and sweeps of hair across their foreheads. The hair of the women swirls and curls. All of the children hold balloons, though a more careful study reveals some of these as circles of color floating free, placed there to lend a light air to the painting — a cheerfulness, a festivity. Some of these circles, or bubbles, are in the sky, imitative perhaps of the way sunlight creates such orbs when entering a camera lens at an angle.

The poster captures essence like the best of graphic design, if not entirely realistic.

Poster3_200Dominating the foreground on the right side as if she has just crossed the plaza from the left is a woman. We see her from a low angle. She appears as if she has just now stopped her uniped; her left foot is on the ground while her right still rests on the vehicle’s pedal. The chrome of the uniped’s large single wheel glistens in the sunlight. The bell-bottoms of the woman’s slacks curve in a relaxed fashion and the wide lapels of her blouse gently flare outward. Her hair is brown, and its multiple curves and swirls are carefully outlined in tan. The artist is an excellent draughtsman.

The woman is looking over her right shoulder with a fetching smile. She is quite beautiful. She has just taken her right hand off the uniped’s control stick. The hand, as she is caught in the act of turning to look over her shoulder, is curved in a gesture of questioning, relaxed expectancy. Her eyes are mischievous. One guesses that she is waiting for someone to catch up after she has sped across the plaza on her uniped on this joyful outing. A man far in the background faces her with one hand raised, but he is not the one she is looking at. We cannot see the object of her regard.

Curving at the top of the poster, with letters of descending size, is the word “Heliopoli.” Displayed across the bottom of the poster, overlapping the lower portion of the plaza surface and the uniped’s wheel, is the following:

“If you lived here, you’d be home now.”


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