Cris and I have a business partnership, but we’re also life partners. There are quite a few famous power-couples in the art and design world who we admire. Here are our top 4:
1. Charles & Ray Eames
Think Eames Chair. Charles and Ray Eames were nothing short of a Renaissance couple. Together and individually they were famous for their contributions to modern architecture and furniture as well as industrial and graphic design, fine art, and even film.
2. Massimo & Lella Vignelli
Massimo Vignelli is perhaps most recognized for his work designing the New York City Subway system’s signage. Both the Vignellis were also jacks-of-all-trades and are famous for their Modernist package and houseware designs, furniture designs, and corporate identities – most notably the American Airlines identity.
I had the pleasure of seeing the Vignellis speak at Northern Illinois University in 2009. I recall Massimo suggesting a good designer only needs two typefaces – Bodoni and Helvetica.
3. Paul & Ann Rand
Paul designed logos for IMB, UPS, ABC, and many more. Ann was a writer, and she and Paul collaborated on countless children’s books – most notably Sparkle & Spin. Side note: I recently inherited a first edition of this classic.
Perhaps Paul Rand’s largest contribution to the design profession was convincing businesses that design is an effective business tool.
4. Jasper Johns & Robert Rauschenberg
Johns and Rauschenberg were artists who led the way beyond Abstract Expressionism toward Pop Art in the 1950s and 60s.
Though their romantic relationship which spanned 6 years often goes unmentioned in museums and text books, it greatly influenced their work. Their arrival toward Pop Art was built not only on their rejection of Abstract Expressionist ideals, but also their rejection of societal norms such as hyper-masculinity and heteronormativity.
The collaboration and competition Johns and Rauschenberg had between them, even through their eventual breakup, propelled each of them to create many of their greatest works.
What power-couples inspire you? Tell us in the comments!