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If this were being written for a popular magazine the fact that Gene and Helen Federico are a husband and wife team of artists would undoubtedly be of tremendous interest, however for the readers of GRAPHIS this fact is not of primary importance. The outstanding characteristic of the Federicos is that these two graphic artists operate successfully and maintain their artistic integrity in a world which is by and large unsympathetic to artists in general and to the problems involved in their work. For the most part the commercial art world is unfortunately willing to “sell” the products it promotes at any artistic price, paying no heed to its cultural obligations and complacently destroying whatever self-respect it might possess. The field of advertising has become addicted to such drugs as surveys, consumer questionnaires, and reports, thus substituting the wishful manipulation of statistics for creative endeavour. Where so much emphasis is placed on pat phrases and stereotyped formulas an atmosphere which makes graphic artists far from happy is necessarily produced, and it is superfluous to add that the artist’s lot becomes increasingly frustrating in proportion to his adventurousness and originality. After this brief but lugubrious description of the advertising ambiance, the reader will realize that graphic artists like Gene and Helen Federico deserve much credit for having the courage and stamina to meet and overcome the resistance not only of conservative and culturally irresponsible clients but also that within their own field. In this context the talented work of the two Federicos takes on a deeper significance even than that which it earns plastically.
It is perhaps not amiss in these troubled and troublesome times to note the sociological as well as the cultural contributions of sincere, gifted young artists like the Federicos. They not only seek and affirm a higher standard in the all-important communicative arts but they in their role of artists with integrity, are to be numbered among that small but potent minority who strive in an age of increasing “conformism” and mass produced mediocrity to live and create as individuals, who seek inspiration rather than security in tradition, and who in their work testify to their belief in the creative vitality of the human being.