Smiley x André Saraiva
Throughout its history, Smiley has stood for a spirit of defiant optimism, a beacon of hope amidst decades of global strife and gloomy forecasts. It is an emblem for anyone wishing to swap a narrative of despair for possibility and promise.
Music and art have a special relationship with Smiley, largely due to the dual symbolism of the icon, both as a mainstream driver and counter-culture subvertor of that very mainstream. Smiley's adoption as the figurehead of the acid house movement in the late 1980s exemplifies this.
In honour of this longstanding iconicity in pop culture, 12on12 decided to drop a vinyl record to mark the symbol's 50th anniversary. André Saraiva, the legendary graffiti artist, was commissioned by Smiley to create a new version of the iconic logo. A sense of boundless positivity permeates this design, which also features original spray paint textures from Andre. Upbeat electronic music accompanies the artwork to ensure an uplifting sensory experience.
Artist & Curator
“Smiley has been part of all the subcultures I liked; for me, it was the rave scene in the early 90s where it became a strong counter-culture icon. It’s a powerful symbol that almost everybody appropriates for themselves and makes their own story with it. Everyone can relate to it.”
- Andre Saraiva