Once you pass through security, Chicago’s O’Hare International Terminal has little to offer. A few vending machines and a barren mile or so of concourses stretching in either direction. You can walk, or you can sleep. I chose to walk.
After trekking the north concourse, I headed south, where posters began to bloom on the walls. These were not your beach-and-palm-tree images. They were colorful, whimsical works of art announcing a concert in Mexico City or promoting peace or literacy in the U.S.
Apparently, in 2008, Chicago had held its first International Biennial Poster Competition (CIBP), which had attracted an amazingly large and diverse number of entries from around the world. Winners had been exhibited in the Daley Bicentennial Park in downtown Chicago.
I was looking at the afterglow—“Top Dogs: Works of the 11 Jurors of the CIPB”—and these jurors themselves comprised a star-studded roster of artists from Japan, Mexico, France, Israel, and Canada.
“Design luminary” John Massey had been the Top Dogs’ top dog—the head juror for the competition. This poster, as sophisticated and understated in black and white as the furniture it was promoting, seemed like a tip of the hat from one grand master of design to another.
You just never know what you’ll find hanging around in an airport during a long layover.