Who is The Crying Boy? Why is it swapped by a Coca-Cola Light? What does all this has to do with ExperimentaDesign 2009?


Dora Santos Silva

in Cultarascópio

Julho 24, 2009

in PT

The Crying Boy is the main character of a marketing campaign by Coca-Cola Light revealed a few days ago in advertising panels, TV and on the internet. Coca-Cola is celebrating the 21st anniversary of Coca-Cola Light in Portugal in an original way: promoting a challenge which will finish with the international Biennale for design, architecture and creativity ExperimentaDesign Lisbon 2009 (EXD 09).

What is the creative logic behind the campaign? It’s simple: the last generations grew up surrounded by key objects that are representative of their culture: the painting of The Crying Boy, the doily, the pair of white socks, the Senhor do Bonfim wrist ribbon, the gel nails, the “alternative” tie, the T-shirt with the name of the place you’ve been on holiday, the bibelot, the rubber flip-flops with heels or the rear view mirror decorations. According to Coca-Cola Light, it’s time to swap these objects by a coke can created especially as a decorative item of the modern times.

People in Portugal can exchange such objects for a collector’s edition Coca-Cola Light can in one of the swapping points indicated on cocacola.pt/gostadeti (it’s worth reading the project’s brochure). These objects will then be re-invented and presented at Experimenta Design 2009 which will take place in Lisbon from 9th September until 8th November.

Who is this boy?

The Crying Boy is an iconic element of the ‘80s, when almost every household had a copy of the painting hanging on a wall. However, there are several versions of the story behind the boy in the painting, none of which confirmed. Some claim the painting was done by Italian painter Bragolin, others say it is by Spanish Franchot. There are those who suggest the boy was a homeless orphan taken in by Bragolin against the will of an entire village who believed the boy was the reincarnation of the devil. Years later Bragolin’s atelier burned down by no apparent reason leaving the painter financially ruined. Another version states that the painter did a pact with the devil in order to be able to sell his paintings. There are also those who said the boy was Portuguese and was called Rogério (read more here)!

EXD/09 – It’s About Time

It’s About Time is the theme of the 5th edition of the ExperimentaDesign 2009 Biennale which will take place in various venues in Lisbon from 9th September until 8th November. For the organisers, there are “two ways of looking into this theme: a more literal one, about all time related things because time is an omnipresent element. As a phrase however It’s About Time refers to urgency: it’s about time we do something, we take an attitude”. EXD 09 will look at time “as a material, a resource and a challenge: time to think, time to collaborate, time to reflect.” A provisional programme is available at www.experimentadesign.pt.

translated by Maria José Anjos


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