This story about the history of how military camouflage came about is a perfect post to commemorate Memorial Day.
Our contemporary camouflage has the abstract, cubist art movement to thank, particularly artists like Picasso and George Braque, as this USA Today story points out. “Breaking up” subjects into patterns or puzzle like shapes forces subjects not be immediately recognizable and this concept was picked up by military strategists during World War 1, which helped “allied ships avoid German U boat attacks.
Artists who helped create camouflage were called “camofluers.” Their task was to disguise objects by making them look like something they were not and could blend in with nature around them, similar to what some animals do naturally in their environments as a protective mechanism. These artists were decoy experts who relied on the work of naturalist Abbot Thayer for inspiration around 1909. They used concepts of natural shading to counterbalance and disrupt light patterns to confuse and “dazzle” the enemy.
Claudia Covert, (the coincidence of her name is uncanny), is an expert on military camouflage at RISD. The French first adopted the art of camouflage in 1915 and then the British and the US followed suit in 1917. Pretty fascinating facts while you’re hopefully enjoying your Memorial Day break and remembering all the brave troops who serve to protect the USA. Thanks to the art of camouflage many lives have been saved.
Keeping up my Monday Murals posts, here are some abstract murals by Matt Moore of MWM Graphics as part of the Shawnee Peak Muralthon. These are colorful and fun, not meant to deceive but bring joy with color and design.
PS: I thought I had scheduled my post for last Thursday. With all of the hubbub surrounding graduation, I guess I forgot to post it. Sorry for that; although I don’t think it will be missed. This just means I’ll have one less post to write this busy week, an unexpected bonus!