The Lure of the Underground
Alfred Leete, 1927
This piece of poster art is part of the famed London Underground Posters series, and like the others in the series, was created to advertise the Tube.
The poster shows a multitude of ethereal Londonites, each a gentle blob of watercolor tones outlined by precise pen strokes, calmly floating with arms out across the grey pavement, toward a Tube entrance. As if they were strangely attracted by static electricity, or sucked towards an underwater grating.
It is hard to describe how surreal this image is, especially in the context of public advertising, where today we are used to seeing flashy, glamorous photographs of pretty people.
Incidentally, I first saw the poster at The Black Sheep Pub & Restaurant in Ashland, Oregon, which has a fine art collection.
Partial image available at http://solo2.abac.com/themole/lure.JPG as of 02/03/04.
Date/artist info from http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A707933