Graphic Designer
& Visual Artist

Rafael Soldi: Soft Boy

Exhibition Identity

Exhibition design, title treatment, brochure design, and print advertising for Rafael Soldi: Soft Boy, hosted by the Frye Art Museum October 7, 2023–January 7, 2024.

The identity takes inspiration from the exhibition’s title work, Soft Boy, an immersive three-channel video piece. The 16 minute projection is composed of a series of non-narrative vignettes that feature ten young Peruvian men. They engage in various displays of youthful masculinity—dog piling, arm wrestling, choreographed marching, and more. 

Throughout [Soft Boy], the subjects’ actions tread a fine line between cruelty and intimacy, torture and pleasure. It’s the dissonance and uncertainty around that line that Soldi explores in Soft Boy—which is based on his memories as a queer youth.1

This design situates typography as a proxy for the body—mimicking the physical tension, violence, and intimacy performed by the young men in the film.
The type, Neue Hass Grotesk—designed by Max Miedinger, Christian Schwartz, and Berton Hasebe in 2010—is bold, vertically oriented, sharp and clean; characteristically masculine in its form. Reduced tracking and leading place the letterforms uncomfortably close to eachother echoeing the artist’s exploration of the proximity of intimacy and violence.  

Installation of Rafael Soldi: Soft Boy on view at the Frye Art Museum, October 7, 2023–January 7, 2024. Photos by Runyon Colie, Jueqian Fang, and Jonathan Vanderweit
Rafael Soldi: Soft Boy is organized by Amanda Donnan, Chief Curator and Director of Exhibitions, with Alexis L. Silva, Curatorial Assistant. 

Lead support for this exhibition provided by Stuart and Lucy Williams. Generous support also provided by the Frye Foundation and Frye Members. Media sponsorship provided by The Stranger.

1 Brangien Davis, Seattle artist explores what it means to be a ‘soft boy’, October 13, 2023. Crosscut.com. https://crosscut.com/culture/2023/10/fall-arts-seattle-artist-explores-what-it-means-be-soft-boy

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