I grew up during the era of the Athena poster, it was de rigueur for most teenage girls and young women to have rugged, bare -chested male model, Adam Perry cradling a new baby adorning their walls, this now iconic image neatly encapsulates raw masculinity juxtaposed with sensitivity. ‘Man and Baby’ became the biggest –selling poster in British history and even continues to sell quite briskly today over 25 years on.
Athena stores no longer exist – the last stand –alone store closed down in 2014, and the demise of this once commercial art behemoth is attributed to a combination of the internet and Ikea – the Ikea poster represents the new Athena with its generic art posters found in many homes.
Balibart, launched by Adrien Salamon and Maxime Delmotte, two self-confessed art lovers, represents a community of hundreds of talented illustrators from all over the world who have created bespoke works for some of the most well-known brands and newspapers such as; The New-York Times, The Washington Post, L’Oréal and Nike. Since its launch, Balibart has collaborated with more than 200 illustrators from 18 countries and showcased more than 1800 artworks .
Like Athena, the art showcased is accessible to all, that’s where the similarity begins and ends, all Balibart works are art prints edited on Fine Art or Canvas paper, furthermore, all creations are available as limited editions having been exclusively created for Balibart. The art prints exclusivity is reinforced via a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist. Balibart also works hand-in-hand with a professional Parisian workshop that collaborates with prestigious museums and well-known galleries.
Available online since its launch in September 2014, Balibart have just made their London debut with the opening of a pop –up store in Old Street station. In time for Christmas a Balibart print would make for a great gift for someone or yourself, you are unlikely to find the ‘cheesiness’ of ‘Man and Baby,’ however, original, authentic art is guaranteed.
Balibart’s new pop-up shop is open at London’s Old Street Tube Station from now until – 24th December 2015.
8am-7pm Mon-Fri; 10am-6pm Sat & Sun. For further information please visit: www.balibart.com