What the famous painting in your dorm room says about you

Your dorm room wall: the spot on which you can tell the entire universe just what you’re ABOUT without uttering a single word. There are as many ways to go about this as there are people, as no two dorm walls look exactly the same. Even the basic building blocks of the exercise (that poster from your favorite movie or TV show plus those Polaroids of your friends minus that fire-hazard tapestry) are individualized through the prism of our own unique experiences. Her Breaking Bad poster was picked for a different reason than his Mad Men poster, even if they both just remind us of the days AMC had non-zombie shows worth watching.

For artsy pricks like me who put a print of a famous painting up, it’s as much about personal motive as the aesthetic of the painting itself. Of course, when you see Klimt’s The Kiss on someone’s wall, your first reaction is either an appreciative nod to their good taste or a cynical shake of the head at such a blatant display of Culturedness. But someone doesn’t turn their dorm into the MoMA solely to show off how cultured they are — though it doesn’t hurt. Dorm-room museum curation comes from a deliberate attempt at self-expression by a college kid’s raging id, albeit through images and connotations more abstract than the ol’ Blutarsky above the bed. Here are some examples of what famous painting you chose to plaster over the cracks in your wall and what it says about you:


YOU CHOSE: Jasper Johns’ Three Flags

WHAT IT SAYS: You are the quintessential college student on a budget. Sure, you technically only need one American flag, but three-for-one is such a steal, and who are you to deny it? Those modern artists weren’t all raking in the dough in their primes. They understood the struggle. There’s a reason Johns debuted Flag in 1954, took a step back, and decided it was two flags too few. It’s the same reason your laptop of choice is still the Acer Perspire you’ve had since sophomore year.
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Effective On-Campus Advertising: Prioritizing your posters

Hands down our favorite poster everJust imagine: You’ve been planning this event for months. After filling out your Space Request Form, securing a performer or speaker, confirming the other nitty-gritty details for your event, and organizing a motley crew of volunteers, you’re finally ready to take the Upspace, the Underground, Upper Salomon and the like by storm. Now is the time to poster. Now is the time to spam. Now is the time to rally your team and plaster Brown’s hottest walls with gorgeous posters (…but remember to stay within the confines of Brown’s Postering and Publicity Policy). But since color printing costs just slightly less than a dinner at Al Forno, you’ll want to make these copies count. You’ll want to attract as many students as possible from all different walks of campus life. Here’s where to get the most bang for your buck (and to appeal to diverse sea of students) with just 5 of them ($1.25 for 8.5″x11″; $4.50 for 11″x17″/12″x18″):

  1. Faunce Arch: Notice how the posters on the Arch’s west wall are meticulously taped up with crisp, red tape. Thanks to Brown Student Agencies, this beautiful wall exists. Drop off your posters at the Campus Center Information Desk, and they will do the rest for you. Seriously – this collage of student ambition is Instagram material.
  2. The Doors of the Ratty: Everybody walks through these at some point during the week. The V-Dub unfortunately still hasn’t added weekend hours to its schedule, so the Sharpe Refectory is still the place to be seen and heard on weekend mornings – even for a poster. Get your graphics on the doors and catch eyes when they’re hungry. Continue Reading