Author: Leslie Combemale

John Alvin’s Blade Runner Movie Art from 1982 at ArtInsights

Blade Runner by John Alvin.  Everyone knows what that poster looks like….John Alvin is known for a number of images, although sometimes not by name.  The prolific and genius movie poster artist called it “the promise of a great experience”, when he created the key art for over 200 movies.  If you remember, when recalling a movie, the poster instead of a scene from the film, that’s a great movie poster. John Alvin did that many many times. The Lion King, E.T., Young Frankenstein, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Blazing Saddles, and of course, Blade Runner, are just a few of the posters he created.

Blade Runner 2049 is releasing to overwhelmingly great reviews.  Seeing it and writing about the film for Cinema Siren,  I couldn’t help but think John would have loved the new movie as much as he did the one in 1982.  He talked about it a lot to me during our friendship.  One thing that the new movie has done is yet again reinvigorated interest and appreciation for the classic sci-fi film and its poster.

So, we have a few images created by John Alvin that those of you who love traditionally illustrated movie posters and the great movie from 1982 can buy and have for yourself.  There are two limited editions, and in several versions.  Neither is signed by John Alvin, but they are both gorgeous, and capture the cyber punk aesthetic and emotional power of the film.

We also have one of the “I’ve Seen Things “ that was sent to John for approval before they created the edition. He had intended to keep it and frame it for his own studio, and so he signed it.  It’s the only signed piece from the edition, and is oversized.  It might be best purchased by someone within driving distance, although, for what will be fairly expensive endeavor, we can ship the framed piece anywhere.  The size of it is 40 x 53 inches. We also have one original graphite from 1982 used in the making of the finished poster.  If you’re interested in that, give us a call.  It’s pricey, but a piece of film history.  Several collectors recognized the importance of John Alvin’s work as part of film history when his key art for E.T. went at auction for $400,000.  There are movie lovers all over the world, after all!

The edition called “No Choice, Pal” has been created with the estate of John Alvin, and has a number of versions.  Delivery takes about 4 to 6 weeks, although will get faster as we continue on our path to doing more publishing for both John’s work and the work of our other artist partners.   

Here’s the info on “No Choice, Pal”:

Giclee on paper: edition size 1982, 6 APs, 6 PPs. size 14 x 19, image size 10 x 15. Retail $125.

Giclee on canvas: edition size 263 with 6 APs, 6 PPs. size is 19 x 23.75, Image Size: 15″ x 19.75 Retail $495.

ArtInsights Gallery is Building, Growing and Expanding!

We at ArtInsights are expanding, contracting, moving, shaking, and all good things. We are in the midst of adding some elements to our brick and mortar store, and at the same time making our website (hopefully) easier to navigate, as well as easier to maneuver when you want to buy!

As many of you know, even thought we are experts and have wonderful relationships with a lot of Disney and film artists, we have starting creating partnerships with contemporary artists that we are very excited about and fills us with pride. After being in business over 25 years, we wanted to add a component to ArtInsights that had social resonance

As I’m writing this, I’m considering what has happened in Las Vegas.  A friend lost someone there, and it reaffirmed the desire on my part, as art director, to only add art to the world that has a healing, or contemplative, or politically resonant component. We live in complicated times.  Times that require us to come together.  Some of us are related to, or connected to, people we don’t understand or agree with.  This is the time when, if nothing else, art will bridge that gap.

With that in mind, I want to let all our collectors and fans know we will have both studio art, meaning LucasFilm, Marvel, DC, Disney, and rogue film art like Blade Runner represented, and will be slowly adding our new projects under the heading of contemporary art. We are going to keep them separate, and there will be changes in the physical gallery coming up that will do that as well.  We hope you’ll come by and see what we have done when everything is all pulled together, and of course visit between now and then as well!

First thing on the agenda, after the sprucing of our new website, is to get a new door into our gallery to the front of the center, because there is a huge building being constructed across the street.  We’ll also have an awning to make us a bit more noticeable.  The interior of the gallery will be going through some changes as well, but those will be a bit slower in happening, since we want to construct a few cool elements that will take some design.

Check back often here on the site, and of course you can always give us a call at the gallery if you’re curious about some of the contemporary art projects we’re working on, or you are thinking of adding some contemporary art to any of your environments.  We have been are will be doing art consulting, both here and abroad in Europe and Asia.

Thanks so much and we look forward to exciting you with great new images of the best studio and contemporary art for collectors old and new!

Leslie and Michael

ArtInsights Gallery of Film and Contemporary Art

The Art of Tennessee Loveless 10x10x10 book releases October 31st!

We are thrilled there is a new retrospective about Tennessee Loveless and his 10x10x10 series, The Art of Tennessee Loveless, releasing on October 31st.  It’s the first ever Disney publishing release featuring an out LGBTQ artist! Edited, with some notes by, and with the book authorship credited Disney insider Dave Bossard, it shows all 100 images from the collection. the 10x10x10 project lifted the iconic imagery of Mickey Mouse into the realm of contemporary art in new and vibrant ways, using the same silhouette but incorporating various world cultural and artistic references.

We’ll have Tennessee here to sign and talk about the project, with limited editions and originals from both the 10x10x10 series and the Art Outsiders.  Stay tuned for the date!  Meanwhile, you can pre-order it on Amazon HERE.

From the Amazon write-up:

“Tennessee Loveless-a Los Angeles-based contemporary pop artist-used bold colors and patterns to create a series of a hundred detailed Mickey Mouse paintings on 10 x 10 canvas. This deluxe art book showcases the beautiful art as well as explores the fascinating world of the artist behind it. Tennessee creates a poetic irony when one considers the fact that he is almost completely colorblind. Despite many obstacles throughout his life and career, he has persevered in pursuing his art. He is driven by his passion for painting people and iconic fictional characters in a way that strikes an emotional and nostalgic connection through the power of color.”

NEW SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON ART 2017 RELEASES SEEN and APPROVED!

Marvel Shadows Set Alex Ross

Oh San Diego Comic-Con, how we love you and love/hate you.  Two gazillion folks wandering the aisles at once.  We should all be making Mooing sounds.  And yet, there’s no better place to have an art release, especially by fan favorite Alex Ross.  We had seen the images, but had to see them in person to report back to anyone “on the fence” or wanting to hear our opinion of how dramatically they presented in person.

As always, at SDCC 2017, we are double-focused. We get to see all the new releases, especially by Alex. We also scour the con for new artists or artists we want to work with more.  We found a few potential future partners, so we’ll see how that develops, and will update you as we do.

Meanwhile, we made a direct march to the Alex Ross booth first thing on Wednesday night, accompanied by clients who wanted to see them with us. Sure enough, there were some gorgeous pieces released, like the Universal Monsters pieces, the Marvel shadows pieces. Did what we love sell the best? Were we spot-on with our prediction of  which would be the hottest and best received?

In a word, YES!  Surprising me not at all, the Universal Monsters series was the most popular. I knew the images would be a big hit, even though they aren’t comic-book derived.  There’s something about seeing Alex Ross’s art in shades of grey, without his usual color palette, that really shows how well he uses shadow and light. You can see the influence great illustrators have had on him, like J.C. Leyendecker and Norman Rockwell, who were both geniuses with light.

There were only 15 sets of the series put aside as sets, and they of course sold out.  We have several we have bought for our clients, so contact ASAP if you’re interested, or love all things monsters.  The Dracula and the Creature from the Black Lagoon are our favorites in terms of images, but everyone loves the Bride of Frankenstein!

We sold as many Marvel shadows series sets as we could get our hands on, and are still trying to see if anyone who had right of first refusal says no, so do let us know if you’re interested in them as well! We have the images individually if there’s a superhero you love more than the rest.  We’ve had hundreds more hits on Iron Man, although we love Thor the best. They are $825 each unframed and rolled.

OMG BATMAN DETECTIVE #31 AND SCARS

Detective Comics 31 full image

Tucked into the interior of the booth was one of my two favorite new releases, the Detective #31 piece, inspired by an old comic book most of you fans will know inside and out.  I was driven to read the old classic from seeing Alex’s new interpretation of the cover.  I knew it would be gorgeous in person, and I brought several of my clients in to see it, and actually sold 3 more for the booth while I showed the piece to my own clients!  My favorite colors, red and purple, are featured.  What’s not to love? 

(see below for the original and one of the first homages of Detective Comics #31) 

Detective Comics 31 - Batman 227

The other piece I knew would be a huge hit is Scars, but as intense as the subject matter is, it’s still impressive as art.   I see the symbolism and metaphor of outside scars vs. inside scars, as well as the power of Alex using black and white, but it was for Batman Black and White, a BIG DEAL book they did at DC that Batman fans always list as one of their favorites.

There are other releases, but those are the ones that struck us the most, and those are the ones that made the fans and collectors crazy in the best possible way.

Balancing our Cinema Siren / Women Rocking Hollywood panels with our work for ArtInsights is always a challenge at San Diego Comic-Con.  Those of you who know us here, know our passion for changing the status quo for women in film, both in live action and animation.  It is a natural extension of working with the art of film and Leslie being a film critic.  We were thrilled, then, to be able to succeed in our panels (videos coming soon!!) and see some great new art that we can wholeheartedly approve and get behind.

We are always working on our next great new partnership, and we’ll let you know when we get there—we take things slowly now so we know we are in something supremely cool and future-bound!

For now, bask in the awesomeness of Alex Ross 🙂

SO EXCITED ABOUT OUR SDCC 2017 San Diego Comic-Con panels!

sandiegocomiccon

SO EXCITED ABOUT OUR SDCC 2017 San Diego Comic-Con panels!

We have the announcement for the dates, times, and panelists for our panels at San Diego Comic-Con 2017!  For those of you going, let us know and we’ll try to get you in to the panel of your choice.  For those of you hanging back at home or on your yearly vacation with your toes in the sand and your head in the clouds, we will be filming them as usual and posting them when we return!

We are thrilled and honored by those who have helped once again to make these panels happen, not least the folks at ASIFA: Hollywood, Women in Animation, and Women in Film: LA, as well as the Women Rocking Hollywood sponsor, Wattpad Studios.

if you want an idea of the crazy experiences and what I do, go over to Barb, for which I wrote a little something:

http://barbmagazine.com/2017/06/26/cinema-siren-says-its-time-for-comic-confidential-2017-edition/

Our three panels, that are are:

FRIDAY:

1:00-2:00 Women Rocking Hollywood: Women Directors Changing the Face of Film and Television Wonder Woman broke all records in Hollywood for a film helmed by a female directors.  Now What? While there’s still a long way to go to equal the number of women behind the camera with women, who make up 51% of the population, shows like Jessica Jones, Queen Sugar, and The Leftovers are making a huge difference by committing to the inclusion of female directors. This 2nd annual panel at SDCC focuses on the incredibly talented, successful women expanding opportunities for women in film who have made noise and winning awards with their work on both the big and small screens. Scheduled to appear: Kirsten Schaffer (exec director, Women in Film: LA) Tina Mabry (writer/producer/director: Queen of the South, director: Dear White People) Rosemary Rodriguez (writer/director: Silver Skies, director: Jessica Jones, The Walking Dead) Victoria Mahoney (director: Queen Sugar, Gypsy, American Crime) DeMane Davis (writer/director: Lift, director: Queen Sugar) Angela Robinson (writer/director: Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, True Blood) and Gina Prince-Bythewood (writer/director: Love & Basketball, Beyond the Lights), the first woman of color hired to helm a superhero film for the upcoming Silver & Black.. Moderated by Leslie Combemale (Cinema Siren). Room 23ABC

10:00 to 11:00 Cartoon Creatives: Woman Power in Animation In this 2nd annual panel at SDCC, we examine the history and trajectory of women working inside feature and TV animation, and talk to directors and show runners of animated shows and specials across networks and studios, as well as a historian bringing to light some great hidden figures in our past.  These inspiring women are show invention and creativity that is expanding the industry. They talk about the rich history of women in animation, their mentors, what’s happening industry-wide, and inside their own exciting shows.  Scheduled to appear are Marge Dean (co-president, WIA, supervising producer SuperMansion) Mindy Johnson (film historian, author of the upcoming “Ink & Paint-The Women of Disney Animation”) Victoria Ying (visual development, Wreck it Ralph, Frozen, Moana) Shadi Petosky (writer/producer Danger & Eggs, founder, Puny Studios) Julia Vickerman (writer, Powerpuff Girls, director, Rad Lands, Twelve Forever) Elaine Bogan (director, Trollhunters, Dragons: Race to the Edge) . Moderated by Leslie Combemale (CinemaSiren.com). Room 23ABC

SATURDAY:

1:00-2:00 Women Rocking Hollywood: Women Directors Changing the Face of Film and Television Wonder Woman broke all records in Hollywood for a film helmed by a female directors.  Now What? While there’s still a long way to go to equal the number of women behind the camera with women, who make up 51% of the population, shows like Jessica Jones, Queen Sugar, and The Leftovers are making a huge difference by committing to the inclusion of female directors. This 2nd annual panel at SDCC focuses on the incredibly talented, successful women expanding opportunities for women in film who have made noise and winning awards with their work on both the big and small screens. Scheduled to appear: Kirsten Schaffer (exec director, Women in Film: LA) Tina Mabry (writer/producer/director: Queen of the South, director: Dear White People) Rosemary Rodriguez (writer/director: Silver Skies, director: Jessica Jones, The Walking Dead) Victoria Mahoney (director: Queen Sugar, Gypsy, American Crime) Aurora Guerrero (writer/director: Mosquita y Mari, director: Queen Sugar) Angela Robinson (writer/director: Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, True Blood) and Gina Prince-Bythewood (writer/director: Love & Basketball, Beyond the Lights), the first woman of color hired to helm a superhero film for the upcoming Silver & Black.. Moderated by Leslie Combemale (Cinema Siren). Room 23ABC

meanwhile, you can find past panels here:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAv_TjmuqNPtn1UMPd6IMBXPEYvRCJqDL

Wish us luck!  We’ll have our wonderful new salesgirl and wonder woman, Holly, here for part of while we’ll be gone, and you can check on our message machine or give the gallery a call for our hours while we’re in SDCC.  There will also be some SDCC releases you might want to find out about, and we’ll be posting about them the first day we are able and allowed!

Live long and prosper, do or do not, allons-y, etc.,

Leslie, Michael, Holly, and Christine, the whole SDCC gang.

Happy Anniversary Harry Potter! This Harry Potter art gallerist and fan looks back

Making a Great Exit

Happy Anniversary Harry Potter!

I can’t believe it’s been 20 years.  These are the books that spawned a thousand ‘ships’ and fanfics, not to mention creating one of the richest women in the world, the highest paid actress, blockbuster movies, Wizard Rock, many conversations about acceptance and tolerance, kids that read voraciously for the first time, a crazy powerful fandom,  conventions that broke records and brought friends together, positive actions in the form of charities like the HP Alliance, and of course, art.

At the very beginning of the series, when it hadn’t even gotten to the states yet, my friend Ruth had interest in the series, and she paid attention to when Scholastic released them in the US, going after the license to release the art here, with all the art created by illustrator Mary GrandPre. She told me years later no one believed it would sell.  I was the first person to promote them when she announced the collection.  They were beautiful, created by a female illustrator, and celebrated reading! How could I not be excited?

Harry Potter: Counting the Days

I started to work with her as much as possible, and when new pieces were released, I was the person who promoted them the most.  This led to getting some exclusive pieces for the gallery, and to being part of a number of Harry Potter fan panels at San Diego Comic-Con, where I met some wonderful friends I am close to and respect to this day.

Here is me on the panel with Darrin Criss, before he got hugely famous, but not before he had become the Harry Potter version of one of the Beatles. Seriously, there were shrieks from his fans during and after the panel, and someone proposed to him.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaAXLumvEUM

One of the weirdest things about being part of the Harry Potter world and selling the art, is I became a strange sort of minor celebrity in the fandom….not like the StarKids or MuggleNet or the Wizard rockers, but still, people knew who I was. After the above panel, two teenage girls came up and asked me for my autograph.  What?? I showed them where the line was to meet Darrin….but they said I was the reason they were going to study art, because they wanted to be part of creating the official art and in my various talks I’d explained about the value and importance of illustration art. It’s the one and only time it happened, but it was very sweet. It also made me feel good about what I do for a living.  I was particularly pleased when the collection of art by Mary GrandPre wound up in a Buzzfeed post and it got viewed, well, lots and lots and lots. It was posted on June 26th, as well, only in 2013!

https://www.buzzfeed.com/ellievhall/16-rare-harry-potter-illustrations-from-the-books-artist?utm_term=.etR3DqnwpM#.tsXqP15Bd2

When Leavesden was opening and they were going to have an exhibit of art and a shop with items for sale, Ruth was able to talk them into releasing art signed by Oscar-winning production designer Stuart Craig, that showed his ideas for various locations in the movies, with the fully rendered images created by architectural and movie concept artist Andrew Williamson.  Again, they didn’t think they’d sell, and again, they proved hugely popular.  Here is one of my favorites:

Journey on the Hogwarts Express

I also, in the time that HP got more and more famous, became closer friends with artist Jim Salvati, who had actually worked on the films as a concept artist, and so I got some art from him he had done for the movie.  That was incredibly exciting, and those who love the movies can really appreciate how the intensity and passion as an artist fits with the themes of the movie.  Here’s a limited edition with Harry and Hedwig:

Harry and Hedwig by Jim Salvati

Every day I encounter some reference to HP, or think of one.  This morning on my walk, I was going to once again avoid the walking tunnel that goes under a big road because it looks creepy, dangerous, and frankly, it reminds me of Death Eaters.  Today, though, I ran through it in honor of the anniversary (crazy, but what can I say?) and as I checked my fitbit, the number was 7,777. 

I had to laugh.

Thanks, Jo.  You’ve inspired millions of kids to read, write, draw, find acceptance, and aspire to more.  We’ll keep reading the books, watching the movies, writing the fanfic, and creating art, and when we do, we’ll think of you, and of Harry, the boy who lived.

L.

ps. If you want to see all the official art of Harry Potter available for purchase, go HERE.

Art Outsiders Wine Dinner at Mon Ami Gabi in Reston and Bethesda- Join Us!

MAGRestonentranceandbar area

Join us at Mon Ami Gabi Reston on Tuesday, June 6, and Wednesday, June 7, at Mon Ami Gabi Bethesda, for an evening of delicious french fare, thought-provoking art and great conversation, featuring artist Tennessee Loveless and ArtInsights gallery owner Leslie Combemale.

artinsights_161231#3, 1/3/17, 1:50 PM, 8C, 9000x11976 (0+0), 150%, Repro 2.2 v2, 1/30 s, R46.0, G20.6, B41.4

Mon Ami Gabi Bethesda Interior

The renowned contemporary artist and contemporary art expert are partnering with the restaurant group Lettuce Entertain You, hosting the Art Outsiders Wine Dinner in both locations. Tennessee and Leslie will present Loveless’s famed project “The Art Outsiders,” discussing the creative process behind the development of the project.

Ten-Art-Outsiders-for-wine

The Art Outsiders is a collection of portraits of people who were outsiders in their own fields for work. From science, music, art, writing, fashion and beyond, their stories are uniquely embedded into the design of each portrait, allowing each work of art to display a narrative of history, courage and perseverance.

Evening includes a welcome reception with passed hors d’oeuvres starting at 6:30 pm, followed by a five-course dinner paired with boutique wines. Click here to see the full menu. The event is priced at $75 per guest (plus tax, gratuity not included). Advanced tickets required; please call Mon Ami Gabi at 703-707-0233 to book your reservation for Reston, and 301-654-1234 to book your reservation for Bethesda.

 

MAGBethesdaExterior

Mon Ami Gabi Reston exterior

Here’s the menu, but by all means click to see more information!

The menu, although you can look at it more closely with the link!

About Mon Ami Gabi:

Mon Ami Gabi is a classic French bistro that embraces a passion for food, wine and culture. Whether you come for the Onion Soup Au Gratin, Steak Frites or decadent Profiteroles, Mon Ami Gabi offers something to satisfy all tastes. For those looking to indulge in a unique dish, the Escargots de Bourgogne with garlic-herb butter is literally a sizzling experience. To complement the menu, an extensive selection of more than 80 boutique French wine varietals, handpicked by renowned chef and owner Gabino Sotelino, are served by the glass or bottle from our signature rolling wine cart. While the favorites are here in abundance, there’s always something new when you’re ready to fall in love all over again.

About Lettuce Entertain You:

Since its beginning in 1971, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Inc. (LEYE) has maintained a sense of humor and enjoyment while creating high quality, successful restaurants. Due to the innovation of LEYE’s Founder and Chairman, Richard Melman, and his creative team of partners and employees, LEYE currently owns, licenses or manages more than 100 establishments in Illinois, Arizona, Minnesota, Nevada, California, Maryland, Washington D.C. and Virginia.

Jim Salvati- Painting, Music, Morrissey, and The Image Projects: The Musician’s Image

Jim Salvati, who i’ve known for over 20 years, is without question one of the most talented artists I’ve ever met. While he’s aware he has a unique eye, and is often very proud about and happy with his work, he’s also very humble about just how rare a talent he is. In fact, he told me when his wife asks him what he’s working on next, he always says “Just making another pizza”. 

He has now turned his focus and considerable artistic insight towards our new partnership called “The Image Projects”, starting with “The Musician’s Image”.

So far, all the art he has created has been commissioned, because we want a limited number of images of the same person or group, and lots of collectors are excited about it and want to “adopt” their favorites.  Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Queen, Green Day, and Morrissey are just a few either finished or in his queue.

Jimi Hendrix “Bold as Love”

Jimi-Hendrix-Jim-Salvati-image-projects

We just got two images he created of Morrissey in the gallery. Sometimes when Jim gets started, he gets so excited about his work after the research and study of a subject, he can’t choose between his many ideas, and that’s when he creates two paintings.  Such is the case for his works of the famed Smiths front man and historic Britpop figure.

 Morrissey “Meat is Murder” detail

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Morrissey “Meat is Murder”

Morrissey-Jim-Salvati-meat

Morrissey “Let Me Kiss You” detail

Morrissey2_Detail_JimSalvati

Morrissey  “Let Me Kiss You”

Morrissey2_JimSalvati

I love how these two images capture different times in Morrissey’s career and shifting world view, one is pure musician, in the other, a deeper aspect of him, ever conflicted, is captured.

I’m constantly floored by Jim Salvati’s work.  I sold some of his originals from Harry Potter years ago, and occasionally he has some personal paintings I am able to offer to my clients.  It’s all great, but always shocks me is, even given my high level of expectation, how impressed I am with the finished commissions when they arrive.  He has this way of not showing me any images beyond the concept stage so I become as excited and curious as my clients are. He never disappoints! I’m going to steal a word Jim uses when he’s talking about great images. His art is always “juicy”.

I love that after knowing Jim for over 15 years, he finally mentioned he had worked with the west coast studio Andy Warhol opened in Los Angeles. He worked there early in his career, the year before Andy’s passing.  That’s the way Jim’s life has been.  He’s always got some really cool project, so he rarely looks to the past behind him. He once did a collaboration piece with Herb Ritts for a book and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame exhibition.  He has created album and CD cover art for Radiohead, Ella Fitzgerald, Jackson Brown, Peter Tosh, Curtis Mayfield, The Hollies, and most recently, Frankie Valli. Jim became a licensed official Disney and Warner Bros. interpretive artist, worked on concept art for Harry Potter, Happy Feet, and a bunch of other movies. He still surfs most days (even though he’s not an unbreakable twenty-something) and teaches at the prestigious Art Center College of Design, which he has done since 1985 when he was hired by the legendary artist Phil Hays, who also introduced him to Andy Warhol.

No doubt i’ll find out some other fascinating tidbits as I continue working and spending time with him, but really how much more would anyone to read about him to be very impressed, and not a little exhausted by proxy?

I remember when I was just starting to consider doing proprietary partnerships with artists I love and trust.  I had begun getting really excited about what Tennessee Loveless was doing with The Art Outsiders, and how well it was being received by collectors and contemporary art experts.  One day I was sitting in my gallery, and Jim, who lives in LA, just walked through the door.  For a few seconds I thought I was hallucinating, but then I realized it was indeed Jim standing there with a big smile on his face.  He was exhibiting across the street at an international portraiture competition, (where he would win a place in the top 5, above thousands of other fine artists) had looked up my gallery’s proximity, (literally about 100 yards away) and stopped by.  It was that day we came up with The Image Projects.  

I’m really excited where it’s headed.  If you’re a fan of Jim’s and/or love music, consider adding your name to the commissions list.  You can contact me at the gallery about pricing and payments (artinsights@gmail.com), but I assure you, whatever he does with your beloved favorite bands or musicians will be even better than you can imagine.  I have the art to prove it.

Leslie

ArtInsights

Musings on Beauty and the Beast, then and now, from an animation and film art expert

beauty-beast-cinema-siren-artinsights

Sometimes my persona as Cinema Siren and my metier as an art gallery owner and expert in animation come together in a delightful way.  Not often, mind you, but yes, from time to time.  This week I got to see the new Beauty and the Beast in advance and reviewed it for my readers (you can find it here), and I daresay there are few people outside of Disney who have seen the 1991 animated feature as often as I have, so it was fairly easy to compare the two films, the songs, the characters, and the live-action verses the animated backgrounds and scenery.

beauty-and-the-beast-ballroom

Though excited and openminded about what Disney might do to bring new life to a recent classic, I was also concerned that Belle would remain the strong, positive, inspiring role model Linda Woolverton created her to be.  In fact, I needn’t have worried. As portrayed by Emma Watson and written by the new screenwriters, (both of whom were men) Belle is not only a loyal friend and daughter, she is also an inventor, avid reader, and would-be fearless adventurer.

As someone who loves the animated film and its heroine to be near perfection for the era and technology of the time, of course seeing the new movie brought back all the warm feelings I have for the older one.  That includes the memories I have of talking to John Alvin about his part in creating the adult campaign, which wound up being the only campaign.  That iconic poster of Belle and the Beast dancing is forever etched in my mind, as only the best cinematic images always are.  Disney hired John to create an image for the movie poster that would appeal to adults because he was already known for iconic, emotional images like the one he had created for E.T.  John excelled at the use of light, smoke, and shadow to build a magical, mystical quality.  It’s the Beauty and the Beast poster that gave birth to the expression “Alvin-izing, which captured a feeling, a visual romance, that, as John himself used to call it “created the promise of a great experience”.  In talking about the making of the poster image, he talked about using “heavy light”, the light Stephen Spielberg used in E.T. and Close Encounters. That was the look he was trying to emulate in the Beauty and the Beast art. It was only the second time John Alvin had worked with Disney, and the poster was such a success, it led to a long and fulfilling partnership with Disney feature animation.

images

I also remember when Disney had the auction at Sotheby’s where they sold original backgrounds from the film. You see, Beauty and the Beast had no cels.  It was just after they had switched away from using them, in favor of scanning the original 2D drawings and coloring them inside the computer. Still, the movie was such a hit, people wanted whatever original art they could get from it, so it was standing room only, and even famous collectors filled the auction house, eager to get a piece of what even then they knew was animation history.  Since then, if you ask members of the Disney archives and research library, they’ll tell you it was a mistake to let backgrounds vital to the history of the film go to collectors.  At the time, it was very controversial in the world of animation that they were going to create cels for the original backgrounds from the movie. Some collectors wouldn’t touch them.  The original estimate, during all the fuss about created cels, was $670,000.  The results of the auction were actually double that, bringing in $1,255,815.

Check out these two articles from the time:

http://www.nytimes.com/1992/10/17/movies/animation-auction-is-questioned.html

http://articles.latimes.com/1992-10-19/entertainment/ca-469_1_top-expectations

Also, the ballroom scene was an example of the steps towards computer animation, and the entire scene was a mix of both hand-drawn and computer animated elements. One of the best things about the new film is the fact that the ballroom sequence could be brought to real life. The design team, which I highlight in my review as being all female-led, spearheaded the utilization of 7 x 4 foot chandeliers inspired by those in Versailles.

Beauty and the Beast

As to some of the concern by fans that artists involved with the original would feel like they were slighted by a live action film that was so heavily inspired by their work, I say, ‘rest easy’…I know a bunch of them, including one of the producers who also produced the new live action update.  They feel honored, appreciated, and edified to know their project not only stands the test of time, but so inspired a new group of artists that they painstakingly researched their work in the development of this new iteration.

If you’d like to see several originals used in the process of John Alvin creating the iconic movie poster for 1991’s Beauty and the Beast, stop by ArtInsights.  See the new movie first, so we can talk about it, and celebrate the wonderful history of this classic story, a tale, as they say, as old as time.

Tennessee Loveless Releases 1st Piece in “Vox Populi” Art Project: “PoMo Patriots” through ArtInsights

When Tennessee Loveless and I started working together on his project Art Outsiders, we were moved and overjoyed at the reception and reaction it got from collectors and fans around the world. Since the start, he has built a solid foundation for the collection, having created images of “Art Outsiders” in a wide variety of important fields, including Andy Warhol, David Bowie, Alan Turing, Billie Holiday, Amelia Earhart, and Divine.  It’s been quite a ride so far, and this very exciting rollercoaster doesn’t seem to be slowing down.  Tennessee is also going full throttle with his own project, Drag Landscapes, and still making great DJ sets through his Beautiful Noise Broadcast, and I’m working to build several other collections with artists, as well as writing interviews and film reviews on Cinema Siren. Enter Vox Populi and PoMo Patriots

We apparently didn’t have enough to do, so of course we decide to do another project together.

It started during the election.  No matter your political affiliation, there’s no denying this country has been pulled apart and an ugly underbelly has been exposed.  People’s rights are being taken away, the integrity of mainstream journalism is being brought into question, there are alarming ethics issues rearing their heads, and that’s just for starters.  Yes, those on the side of the new administration will say all sorts of other things.  The point is, our country is going to hell in a handbasket faster than anyone thought possible, and that’s saying something.

The forefathers and mothers of our country did not fight for our freedom and create a new country so we could light a match and put it to flames. Those same fathers and mothers stood up when they saw injustice, and over hundreds of years, they and countless critics of those in power have spoken out, risen up, and used democracy to keep America the inclusive, welcoming, melting pot it was born to be. As has been said many times, freedom isn’t free. We have to fight for it. We also have to fight to bring this country back together again.

Patriotism isn’t just a word for conservatives.  All kinds of people, whether they’ve been in America for one day, or their family stepped off the Mayflower, love this country.  It’s with this in mind we have started a new American flag project called “Vox Populi”. We are both incredibly passionate about it, and have been talking about it a lot: why we both feel we have to speak through art right now, why we want to call upon the many different voices of dissent in our country’s history, and why we are uniquely placed to do so, since ArtInsights is within easy driving distance of DC and the belly of the political beast. We both might be very busy, but together we decided we couldn’t NOT do it.

This President’s Day, many of us are reflecting on our current state of affairs and how we can make a difference to inspire change.  We thought it would be the perfect time to release the first piece, “PoMo Patriots”, (or an abbreviated version of Postmodern Patriots).

The Sunday before Presidents Day, we went all over Washington D.C. taking pictures of Tennessee holding the original art in front of the monuments to the various people quoted. Below are some of the pictures of our adventure introducing the art to Washington and its important historical landmarks:

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PoMo Patriots at the Reflecting Pool.
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PoMo Patriots on a beautiful February day on the mall.
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Tennessee and PoMo Patriots with the MLK Memorial.
Korean War Memorial
PoMo Patriots at the Korean War Memorial.
Vietnam Memorial
There’s little more moving than people finding those they love written in the Vietnam Memorial. PoMo Patriots is there.
Vietnam Memorial
So many lives lost and represented at the Vietnam Memorial. They died for us, and we must take a stand.
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PoMo Patriots at the World War II Memorial.
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PoMo Patriots at the Lincoln Memorial. The guards were wonderful and kind, and they loved PoMo Patriots.
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Tennessee and PoMo Patriots lands last in front of The White House. He didn’t mean to smile, but the art got such positive attention and several kids told him how much they loved it. He was moved and honored.

We saw license plates from more states than ever before as we drove around trying to find parking on an extremely crowded 70 degree day in the Nation’s Capital.  Surprisingly, we encountered mostly positive responses, ranging from polite curiosity to awestruck enthusiasm.  A few people were truly moved, which I hope meant they got the intense, emotional aspect of how Vox Populi came to be, the passion with which we are approaching every aspect of its release, and what it the project means to Tennessee and I as an artist and an art gallery owner.

To be fair, we did also get a fair amount of shade and side-eye, which would have been more helpful if they could have actually created cover for our exposed ginger skin.  What, though, could they possibly have against two redheads carrying an interpreted symbol of our country? I’d say we all have a lot of work to do.

QUOTES:

Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better…..This is a most valuable – a most sacred right – a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world. Abraham Lincoln

Power in defense of freedom is greater than power in behalf of tyranny and oppression…..because power, real power, comes from our conviction which produces action, uncompromising action. Malcolm X

Salvation for a race, nation or class must come from within. Freedom is never given.  It is won. A. Philip Randolph

There is in this world no such force as the force of a person determined to rise. The human soul cannot be permanently chained. W.E.B. Du Bois

We need in every bay and community a group of angelic troublemakers. Bayard Rustin

Courage is more exhilarating than fear and in the long run it is easier. We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared, discovering we have the strength to stare it down. Eleanor Roosevelt

Finally, let us understand that when we stand together, we will always win. When men and women stand together for justice, we win. When black, white and Hispanic people stand together for justice, we win. Bernie Sanders

So long as we have enough people in this country willing to fight for their rights, we’ll be called a democracy. Roger Nash Baldwin

A truly American sentiment recognizes the dignity of labor and the fact that honor lies in honest toil. Grover Cleveland

If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress. Barack Obama

Hope will never be silent. Harvey Milk

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Martin Luther King, Jr.

America was not built on fear. America was built on courage…. on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand. Harry S Truman

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. George Washington

_________________________________________________

I wanted to include Tennessee’s perspective on this new project , and his impetus for bringing Vox Populi to life:

“I love America.

I love my fellow Americans.

I love my fellow Americans even if they hate me because I’m queer.

I still love them.

I love America so much I am willing to use whatever ability I have, to fight for people to be here.

I love America so much that I am willing to create art as a mirror to show people, even though we were founded on a poisonous colonialist and ongoing imperialistic structure (which I dislike greatly and will continually fight against) that this ‘MELTING POT’ exists because of activism for ALL EQUAL RIGHTS.

I love America so much, that I have used my blood, sweat, and tears to create a piece about a pattern I am ironically terrified of because of people confusing “patriotism” with “nationalism”.

I love America so much that I used quotes of people who fought for inclusivity and equality like Malcolm X, Eleanor Roosevelt, Harvey Milk, Bayard Rustin and more…

I love America so much that I turned their quotes upside down on the flag so that my fellow Americans had to contort themselves beyond the pattern to read what America was about.

I love America so much that I flew to DC with this portrait and stood in front of every monument, INCLUDING THE WHITE HOUSE to talk about the state of our administration.

I love America so much that I fought through my fellow American’s jeers, shade, and disdain for what I was doing.. and yet I was overwhelming met with hugs and tears.

I love this country enough to know when its absolutely backwards and fighting itself… because EVERYONE BELONGS HERE.

I love America.

and yet I am afraid of the thing I love.

Regardless I will fight as an advocate with my cis white privilege ..

because my weapon and shield is a brush and my voice.”

We also displayed the art in ArtInsights, and PoMo Patriots got exactly the kind of reaction Tennessee was looking for, over and over and over.  And…in fact, we could have sold the original four times the day it was seen for the first time, and all to collectors far more conservative than we would have expected!

Everyone contorts themselves and changes their perspective to read the many important messages of those who have loved and worked for the freedom of our country:

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We have limited editions of this piece, (which was sold immediately upon displaying it) and you can find information on it HERE. If you love what you see, stay tuned for more from this project.  We are so excited for you to see it come together! (ps. a percentage of proceeds from the sale of limited editions goes to the ACLU)

Wonder Woman original production art in honor of the Women’s March on Washington

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In honor of the Women’s March in Washington on inauguration weekend, we are offering some rare Wonder Woman original production art from Justice League. They are drawings, as they didn’t use cels in the animation, and we don’t have a bunch, but the 8 we have are all wonderful, kick-ass, and represent the character well!  CHECK THEM OUT HERE.  We will only have them this weekend, so now is the time!

Many of you know we have a large contingent of collectors and art and animation fans meeting up at the gallery and going in to march on Saturday.  That’s not to say we don’t love our ‘Right-minded’ collectors, but we all have to walk our walk as WELL as talk our talk, and that is particularly true to those of us in art and small business.

Those of us who are marching, and those supporting those who will be there certainly need inspiration and motivation, and this demigoddess is the Amazonian to give it!  A percentage of all sales this weekend will benefit Planned Parenthood.  CELEBRATE POWER and THE WONDER OF WOMANHOOD this weekend!

Also, all the art available for purchase is benefitting women-owned small businesses: both in the retail and wholesale!  We are working with the lovely and hard-working Ruth Clampett of Clampett Studio, and her cohort Michelle Smart, who handles production art for them.  I, Leslie Combemale, CRAZY FEMINIST ART LOVER, co-own ArtInsights (as you know)…Plus you will also be supporting low cost healthcare for women around the country.  So what are you waiting for? Lasso yourself a great new piece of art 🙂

Cerphe’s Up Book Signing with Cerphe and Rock and Roll Art at ArtInsights!

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We are so excited to host famed long-time DJ and radio broadcaster Cerphe Colwell of Music Planet Radio at ArtInsights! He’ll be signing copies of his book Cerphe’s Up, about his 45 years as a rock and roll insider in and around the DC area.

In preparation of his coming to the gallery, we put together some great originals and limited editions from our collection to display, including great pieces of David Bowie, Kate Bush, Ringo Starr, and the Beatles, by artists Tennessee Loveless, Jim Salvati, and Alex Ross.

If you are a music fan you should definitely come meet Cerphe 2-4 pm on January 28th, when he will be at ArtInsights in Reston Town Center…(on a day when parking is free;)  

His stories are legendary, as is his kind, mellow demeanor.  Cerphe’s Up features great interviews with Tom Waits, Stevie Nicks, George Harrison, The Rolling Stones, and more.  Currently playing great tunes at the successful internet radio station Music Planet Radio, he has worked for WAVA, DC101, and WJFK, and is the one who brought an unknown Bruce Springsteen to the attention of DC music lovers. He has the awards to prove it!  It’s also co-authored by Stephen Moore, who has co-authored three other successful books about awesome famous people, including Washington treasure Helen H

Cerphe’s Up has nothing but 5 star reviews, and it has become a bestseller. You can buy it at our event and have him sign it to you directly, or signed to the favorite rock and roll historian, musician, or music fan in your family and friends. JUST IN TIME FOR VALENTINE’S DAY!

cerphe's up book cerphe colwell

We’ll also have the art of romance, as we do right around Valentine’s Day.  It might be early for those guys out there who forget until the day of and wander home with flowers you buy from 7/11, but that just means you will be prepared.  We have The Little Mermaid’s Eric and Ariel, Belle and the Beast, Mickey and Minnie, lots of the other cartoon couples you might enjoy. 

Bittersweet-Embrace-beauty-and-the-beast-art-john-alvin-movie-art-artinsights

Obviously Cerphe’s Up will make a wonderful Valentine’s gift for music-minded loved ones….and speaking of ROCK AND ROLL, so will the awesome art we have on display by Tennessee Loveless of David Bowie, who so loved the world he became the man who fell to earth…;)

Art Outsiders: David Bowie

We hope to see you Saturday the 28th, barring several feet of snow.  We’ll have a blast, and you will have a special opportunity to meet a local legend, surrounded by wonderful art!

Leslie at ArtInsights

January at ARTINSIGHTS: What we are doing about parking in Reston Town Center

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About parking in Reston Town Center.  Those of you who know us know we don’t ask anyone to do anything we wouldn’t do.  While we don’t have a philosophical issue with paid parking in general and in Reston Town Center in specific, We aren’t pleased at all with the choices they’ve made putting it together and publicizing it.  A number of you don’t want to have to download the app, which requires saying yes to a number of permissions.  Beyond that, the technology utilized for parking involves taking a picture of your license plate.  On the Reston Town Center website, it says the system doesn’t keep the picture after you leave.  Some will be comfortable with that, others won’t.

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Art by KC Green

SO:

COME ON THE WEEKENDS WHEN IT’S FREE!!  Starting next weekend, our hours:

Monday through Friday 10-6, Saturdays 10-6, Sundays 12-5.   

Should you WANT to come during the week, we will validate your parking with any purchase.  Either way we’re happy to see you, and thrilled with your support. We want to continue to grow and be happy about being here, because for the most part the company that now owns the center has been great. If they see significant damage to their position in the marketplace, they might make some changes, but we don’t want our gallery or any of the small businesses in the center to bear the brunt of their mistakes!  so again:

VISIT US ON THE WEEKENDS!  That way you can still enjoy all the great aspects of Reston Town Center.

Meanwhile, do let us know positive suggestions and thoughts in the comments!

Best and warmest to you all,

Michael and Leslie and the whole Artinsights crew.

Happy New Year from ArtInsights! What’s in store for 2017?

What does 2017 bring for ArtInsights? What can our friends and fans expect? We’re very excited about our plans, and we’d love to tell you a bit about them!

2016, by all accounts, was a pretty iffy year.  We, like the rest of the art world, were challenged by the experiences, losses, and surprises we all faced.  In the US, many artistic people are concerned about the future in a Trump presidency, even as our right-leaning friends suggest there’s nothing to worry about.  We have many wonderful LGBTQ and immigrant clients, so yes, we worry.

With that in mind, we have an amazing new project we will be promoting with Tennessee Loveless.  We can’t talk about it, really, but it is spectacular and very exciting.  It is political in nature.  How does this fit in with a gallery that focuses on animation and film art, you ask?  Well….

We are going to split focus starting in 2017.  It has been in the works for some time now.  As many of you may know, I (Leslie) have been working directly with artists creating and building proprietary projects unique to ArtInsights.  Two examples are The Art Outsiders with Tennessee Loveless, and The Image Projects with Jim Salvati.  Both projects just seem to be getting better and better, and more known, and we couldn’t be happier about that.

Here is our favorite piece so far from the “Musician’s Image”, a collection of music legends created not from any single picture, but from studying many different pictures and extrapolating a unique image from the collection of them.

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Those of you who are artists know how impressive this is.  Very few artists can do this, but Jim Salvati excels at just that.  We have been slowly building our collection of these images and have some great announcements about the collection we’ll be making very soon.  Jim also started the “Sporting Image” with his instant classic representing Arnold Palmer.  We’ll be adding to that soon as well.  All these are part of a greater plan, and are going somewhere we can’t talk about at present, but those who are interested in commissioning their favorite musician or sports figure should contact me soon so they can get in on our plan, because it’s super cool (as are most things in which Jim takes part!) Of course Jim and I have to approve the image as part of our collection, but there are many very famous and wonderful musicians and athletes not yet spoken for…

arnoldpalmer_jimsalvati

Tennessee Loveless continues to get hotter.  Not only does he spend much of his “free time” building his collection of interviews and portraits for his personal project “Drag Landscapes”, he also just gets better with each successive Art Outsider portrait.  That’s not so say the first few aren’t amazing, they still floor me when I see them.  He’s just always changing, always evolving.  The latest pieces are just beautiful, especially Marlene Dietrich and Kate Bush (someone who inspired us both in our youth through to today).

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He just charges forward, and he has more commissions already committed, as well as our new project that will be unveiled all at once, instead of one at a time.  Believe us, they will be more potent that way!  Follow us to see the art as it is released and announced, and of course if you are interested in a commission, let us know as soon as possible, especially as more is happening in his and our world together we can’t even talk about that will significantly influence his fame and, by extension, the prices of his originals!

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(Marlene Dietrich Art Outsiders by Tennessee Loveless: contact us if interested)

As to the splitting of focus, we will still be representing the best of interpretive and original film and animation art, it just won’t be front and center on our site or our brick and mortar store.  Maybe you noticed we changed our name.  We are now “ArtInsights Gallery of Film and Contemporary Art.  We will have a new website that reflects all the new and awesome work we’ll be offering… and it will be a BETTER, SEARCHABLE site!  (HURRAY!) We will also have a dedicated section of our site, and will be happy to build your collections using our 28 years of experience.  We just are finding ourselves more and more committed to contemporary art and the artists who are searching for a place to speak their vision.  We want to help them speak, and find their audience, in any way we can.  We have not only the aforementioned projects,

and are EVER committed to representing and promoting the work of the incomparable and amazing film artist JOHN ALVIN, (who, in 2016, broke all records for the highest price for a piece of film key art with the 396k sale at auction of the E.T. movie poster original!)

but we have new ones in the works we are building in 2017!

We also have a great artist new to ArtInsights we will be promoting in the U.S. who is very successful and popular in his home country of England, Mark Davies.  His work will just blow you away.

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(The Goonies)

Our show, which we are actively building as we speak, is a passion of mine and continues to excite me.  SO MANY IDEAS! Check out our new limited edition from his last show, all of which have remarques on them.

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(E.T.)

If you find his work compelling, contact us soon, because his work is going to go up in price really fast!  Right now, originals are around $6000 to $7000, and he loves nearly any movie you can imagine.  If he doesn’t, i’ll let you know and talk you out of it…you know my favorite movies?  He’s creating art from a number of them.  How synergistic is that for me, a film critic/art gallery owner?  VERY.

Lastly, those who live nearby or come to visit on occasion may have heard Reston Town Center is siting to paid parking as of January of 2017.  We have taken proactive action on behalf of our clients and friends.  We will validate your parking during the week, but also, since parking is free on the weekends, we’ll be open on both Saturday and Sunday, so we suggest coming to visit us then, because we’ll be making ArtInsights so much fun on the weekends you’ll WANT to come by!

We continue to be honored and touched by the support and loyalty of the clients and friends of ArtInsights.  After over 22 years in business, we are so appreciative to those who keep showing up, seeing what’s new, and embracing exciting new art year after year.

We know you could go anywhere.  And yet, you show up again and again, take our advice on new artists, and celebrate inventive, creative art we show you, whatever its origin or subject matter.  That is beyond cool.  It’s why we keep doing what we do.  Happy New Year to you all, and thanks for all your support, from Michael and I.

Best in the new year,

 

Leslie and Michael

ArtInsights Gallery of Film and Contemporary Art

10SC appearing at “Drag Friday” on Black Friday, November 25th, 4-7pm at ArtInsights

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Famed Contemporary Artist TENNESSEE LOVELESS Appearing on “DRAG FRIDAY”, the alternate to Black Friday, at ArtInsights Gallery for THE ART OF TENNESSEE LOVELESS one man show, featuring the release of new images from “THE ART OUTSIDERS SERIES” and art from the 10x10x10 series

November 25th, from 4 – 7pm

Reston, VA – World renowned artist Tennessee Loveless will be appearing in person for the opening of the Art Outsiders Borderline Series show at ArtInsights in Reston Town Center, Virginia, on what the gallery is calling Drag Friday.  From 4 to 7 pm, ArtInsights will offer an alternative, a welcome respite, or a unique addition to Reston Town Center’s Black Friday event, “Holidays are Here”.  Outside in Reston Town Center, holiday revelers will be enjoying the tree lighting ceremony, singing Christmas songs, and meeting Santa. Inside ArtInsights, they’ll be celebrating the day with a DJ spinning non-seasonal electronica, cold-weather libations, and an appearance of one of the fastest rising art stars in the LGBTQ community. Collectors and fans can meet Tennessee Loveless, and he’ll be dedicating all limited edition and original art sold from both the Art Outsiders and 10x10x10 series. A part of the profits from all sales that weekend will be donated to SMYAL.org, which supports and empowers lesbian, gay, transgender, and questioning youth in the Washington, DC metropolitan region.  He will be appearing both for “Drag Friday”, November 25th, from 4-7pm, and Saturday, November 26th, 3 to 6pm at ArtInsights Gallery, 11921 Freedom Drive, Reston, VA.  The gallery will be giving away an original piece of art by 10SC to someone attending the weekend gallery events. New images from the Art Outsiders Borderline Series and original art that will be in the 10x10x10 art book will be on exhibit and for sale through January 8th. We will also be unveiling the newest original in the Art Outsiders Series, featuring Kate Bush. As always, admission to the gallery is free. For more information, contact ArtInsights at 703-478-0778 and visit HYPERLINK http://www.artoutsiders.netwww.artoutsiders.net.   

The Art Outsiders Borderline Series includes portraits of people who were outsiders of their own various fields of work. From science, music, art, writing, fashion, and beyond, Tennessee writes the stories of each outsider’s life, and imbeds it into the structure of their portrait. In this series, he adds the dimension of his experience of each artist and their influence on him as a contemporary artist and how they inspire him to persevere with his work and life. Says Loveless, “With Borderline, I reflect on the powerful influence the artists have on me as an artist, but also their influence on this moment in history, and how I see them reflected in today’s society. Sometimes what I paint surprises me, sometimes it saddens me.” Adds ArtInsights owner Leslie Combemale, “If there was ever a time to embrace the power of art to express change, this is it. I love the Borderline Series because it shows how Tennessee, as a painter becoming known around the world, interprets the artists who have already changed the world.”

ABOUT TENNESSEE LOVELESS

Tennessee Loveless has taken the art world by storm in a number of different ways.  After his start painting queens in the drag bars of San Francisco, he worked as an artist in their fine art division.  It was during that time he created the 10x10x10 collection, which involved painting 100 Mickey Mouse heads infused with the details of geography, cultural discussions, emotional landscapes, and abstractions.  An art book, The Art of Tennessee Loveless: 10 X 10 X 10—The Mickey Mouse Contemporary Pop Art Series, will be released in Fall of 2017 through Disney Publishing. His current project The Art Outsiders is represented and premiered exclusively through ArtInsights Gallery in Reston.  New art from that project is the subject of their new show, and includes portraits of Van Gogh, Judy Garland, David Bowie, Divine, Kate Bush, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Marlene Dietrich. You can see all his projects and read his blog at HYPERLINKhttp://tennesseeloveless.com/www.tennesseeloveless.com

See all his art on the ArtInsights website HERE.

ABOUT ARTINSIGHTS

Open and representing a wide range of film, animation, and contemporary art at their gallery in Reston Town Center since 1994, ArtInsights focuses on proprietary projects and artist representation relating to the history of animation and film, and the celebration and examination of popular culture. With artists like John Alvin, Alex Ross, Jim Salvati, and Tennessee Loveless, the gallery builds collections of original and limited edition art for their growing worldwide collector base. See their work and read their blog on HYPERLINKhttps://www.artinsights.com/www.artinsights.comFor more information about The Art Outsiders project and Tennessee Loveless, visit  HYPERLINKhttp://artoutsiders.net/artoutsiders.net.  

For more information about the event and exhibit, contact Leslie Combemale at ArtInsights Gallery, 703-478-0778,  HYPERLINK “mailto:artinsights@gmail.comartinsights@gmail.com 

An Alex Ross Art Adventure at NYCC

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ArtInsights is back and our collective feet are back to normal after a crazy four days at New York Comic-Con officially partnering with the Art of Alex Ross.  I’m sure you friends and collectors are curious how it went, aren’t you?   (well, some of you actually said you were 🙂 )

We and the folks at Alex Ross Art brought and shipped lots and lots of art, including, for the first time, original paintings and drawings offered by anyone outside Alex’s agents.  For us this was a big deal!  We had some gorgeous Spider-Man art, and some truly lovely drawings we were very excited about.  We also had the exclusive signed lithographs that featured three great images of Cap, Batman, and Doctor Strange.

Wednesday was the day we had for setting up the booth, which was ordered custom from a convention company so that it wasn’t just grid walls, which I think don’t speak to the class and quality of the art being displayed. The head honcho (HH) at Alex Ross Art suggested white carpet, (WHITE CARPET?!) which he said would make the space look bigger…which, in fact, it did! We just needed to be armed with lots of spot cleaner.  Lots of it. A vice president at Alex Ross Art (VP) who was always close by in case longtime collectors of originals stopped by or we had questions, had suggested we really needed a big banner above the space.  This is the one and only time i’ll complain about how much more expensive New York is than San Diego: Just putting up the banner costs way over a thousand dollars.  I think it took two guys about 20 minutes to put it up, and 20 minutes to take it down.  I support unions and always have, but we’re small business over here.  Work with us, people!!  Regardless of that, VP was 100% correct in needing the sign, because it was a beacon. You could see it from all over the floor, and even better, both he and HH said we needed spotlights.  I thought they meant for the art.  NO!  FOR THE BANNER!  We were right next to Midtown Comics, and they had a banner without a spotlight on it.  What a difference.  It pretty much glowed 🙂

What took the longest on Wednesday was Michael (MB) methodically putting security hangers on the valuable art, and the art being displayed on the outside walls of our booth.  Those pieces were brilliantly placed, because you could see them from across the hall.  One side had all Beatles, and the other side had four pieces from the Shadows collection, which has a gorgeous Wonder Woman.  The security hangers worked.  Halfway through the con someone tried to steal her, which I could tell by the certain way the wall was shaking.  I calmly peeked around and saw a guy trying to wrestle her off the wall.  Wonder Woman was having none of it.  HURRAY FOR SECURITY HANGERS!  After hanging and dressing the booth, we left late Wednesday night and went out to a local Italian restaurant around the corner from our hotel.

We thought Thursday was going to be the slow day, since it hadn’t sold out in single tickets until the last few days before the con.  We were SO WRONG.  It was nuts.  In retrospect that makes sense, because lots of people with 4 day passes came to our booth first to stake their claim on the art they wanted.  We almost completely sold out of the Batman signed edition, and about half of the limited editions we had brought, which were all highly sought-after #1s in the editions.  It took us most of the day to get more organized, and one of my friends who came to help us, who was an organization savant (OS), somehow made the space look great and run like a well oiled machine by the second day.  Another friend, who is the ultimate Southern gentleman (SG), was out greeting fans and handing out brochures about Alex’s work.  By the second day, everyone knew every piece and could speak fluently about his career and which pieces were best for which collectors.

I had to learn the hard way that people from around New York expect to negotiate (I don’t negotiate, generally) so after only a few people tried to get discounts, I steeled myself for some people to walk away in a huff, which only one person did.

We had several friends helping us, and gratefully we were staying within walking distance.  To anyone who will ever work the NYCC in the future, i’d say this is essential.  There were so many people in our booth and so much action, we actually got “Con-brain”, which is a phenomenon I believe could be researched that is the result of a brain too stimulated to continue functioning properly.  Normally this only happens from walking around a convention floor with the mass of people in cosplay whilst being assaulted and surrounded by thousands of sounds and sights.  I guess if enough people come into your booth, after 5 or 6 hours, “Con-brain” may have to be factored into how you operate.

For example, you have to make sure you don’t put your phone or wallet down while shopping for food or ordering dinner somewhere.   

We mostly just went back to our hotel and hung out together and I made dinner for our crew and we ate together at the hotel.  The last thing any of us wanted to do was be around people are walk on our very confused and swollen feet!  I brought a bunch of great wine and we had some fun before going to bed early every night.  This meant visiting a great little neighborhood store I liked to call “the grocery labyrinth” that was like walking through the maze in The Shining.

Right here is where i’ll say the Alex Ross fans are the best.  That’s saying something, since I am involved with art from a variety of fandoms.  Star Wars, Harry Potter, and as many fandoms as there are movies from the Disney studios, and then some, including character specific fandoms for Mickey Mouse, Scooby-Doo, and Bugs Bunny. It is a bit of apples and oranges, because in the case of Alex Ross, the fans are responding to an artist instead of a property.  Having fans get excited about an production artist working in popular culture was like catnip! I overheard a number of people as they brought friends and family to the booth to introduce them to their favorite artist, or the artist that inspired them to draw, or the artist of their favorite comic book.  I’ve been told so many times to read Kingdom Come and Crisis on Infinite Earths I actually had to promise to do so!

For those of you curious, the people who come to NYCC have much better hygiene.  Every day the attendees smelled fresh and delightful.

We had a bunch of expressions that took a life of their own through the weekend.  Two of my favorites were:

“Jack! I’ll love you forever!” = a guy we met who bought some art with his equally awesome mom went and stood in line for what must have been at least half an hour just to get me a Diet Coke.

“I am not Alex Ross.” = Michael, who was processing the purchases, was mistaken for Alex Ross all weekend.  They look nothing alike, but Alex so rarely goes to conventions, they just assumed it was him.  We think we should get t-shirts made saying “I’m not Alex Ross” printed on them.

“Alex is a traditional illustrator in a digital world.” = this was the answer as to why Alex doesn’t do conventions anymore.  It’s actually true, in that he still has to make deadlines creating hand-drawn art.  For the most part, he can’t click corrections…So he spends most of his waking hours every day painting. Surprisingly, people actually understood!

All in all, we did really well and were very pleased with our success.  We got back to the Washington area at 4 am, dropped off all the original art at the gallery, and got to bed after having dinner at a time when most people were getting up for work.

We still have some original art and limited editions at the gallery, for those of you who want to visit.  We pulled some exclusives so that our own longtime clients would have a chance to buy something, and we also were lucky enough to be given a collection of cover art and graphite concepts we are allowed to sell.  Huzzah!

Stay tuned for what we might do next with both the art of Alex Ross and other artists and art we find exciting. Thanks again for all those who supported us at the con, our new collectors, and especially OS and SG, who came with us and helped.  You all did the near impossible, you made working NYCC fun!

Leslie for ArtInsights.

John Alvin’s E.T. Phones in the Worth of Traditional Illustration Art

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Heritage Auctions just sold the original key art by John Alvin from E.T. for $394,000 after the buyer’s premium.  The bidding was brisk and committed, and started way above the lowest required bid.  Though the buyer wanted to remain anonymous, there’s no question a number of collectors were willing to go into the hundreds of thousands to obtain this original art from the recent sci-fi classic. Speaking as not only Cinema Siren, but also the owner of ArtInsights, the gallery that represents the estate of illustrator and movie poster artist John Alvin, the news of the hammer price came less as a surprise than a reaffirmation of the value of both traditionally illustrated film art and of the work of the renowned artist. 

Unfortunately, the artist’s estate was not the owner of the art at time of auction, as is often the case with original film art, especially key art.  With the insane timeline of deadlines, and the teams working to promote films ever turning towards the next project, even when the art remained the property of the artist, often the original art created during the campaign was never returned to them.  This was rarely intentional. Sometimes the director or producer asked for it, and sometimes someone in the design firm just put it in a flat file and forgot about it, because the focus by everyone involved had turned to the next film.  Little did everyone know traditionally illustrated film art was, even in the early 80’s, a dying art form. 

That’s not to say Andrea Alvin, John Alvin’s widow and artistic partner in Alvin and Associates, wasn’t thrilled to see such public confirmation of the value of her husband’s work. To her it reaffirmed the increased embrace of his legacy as one of the foremost artists in the history of film.  With the over 200 campaigns he worked on during his lifetime, John Alvin was one of the most prolific film artists, certainly, and not only recognizable, but so famed for his movie magic, the term “Alvin-izing” was coined by studio executives in referencing his style.  

There are many around the world who have been collecting the art of John Alvin or supporting his legacy as a fine artist through their mentions of his work on their movie blogs, or as in the case of Kevin Burke’s new documentary “24 x 36”, through film.  They know, unequivocally that those willing to pay nearly $400k represent far more than just fans of E.T.  Those collectors were vying for the art of John Alvin as much as for the iconic image he created.  That, after all, was what he was known for.  The posters he made were splashed across every platform.  His images were used throughout the world. 

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Whether, for example, you saw The Lion King in Pasadena or Paris, the poster depicting a majestic lion in the sky was probably partly responsible for getting you into the theater.  That light-suffused and very emotionally evocative painting that was Alvin’s trademark was used for The Lion King poster, as well as the E.T., Aladdin, Cocoon, Empire of the Sun, Willow, and many more.  

The $400,000 hammer price for the art of E.T is not only a celebration of the love of movies, but also a celebration of the acceptance of John Alvin as a preeminent film artist and indeed as a fine artist. It suggests that original film art, which is an art form largely relegated to history, is indeed fine art.  It also shows, in a strange yet really real way,  his work continues to have relevance.  The estate recognized that phenomenon through the discovery of graphites John used in the making of two of the Pokemon movies. Who knew between that and every article on Blade Runner II using his famous poster for the original film, images attributed to John would continue to be used so frequently? 

We who represent the estate of John Alvin are very excited about our plans for the future.  We are busy with plans for museum shows, and with continuing to help people around the world acquire those pieces his family members are willing to sell to fine art collectors and film fans.  Fortunately for Andrea Alvin, she does have a few pieces of key art that will be kept in the family and handed down to future generations. John’s art for movie campaigns capture the essence of who he was, and even casual observers can see he put his heart into every image.  Every piece was personal.  The E.T. image is a perfect example; his daughter Farah’s hand was the model for that of Elliott’s as he reaches to touch E.T., Sistine Chapel-style, in the poster. 

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If you want to know more about John Alvin, of course there’s the great book released in 2014 written by his wife Andrea Alvin, which you can get here:

https://www.amazon.com/Art-John-Alvin-Andrea/dp/0857689290

and you can see the art available for sale through his estate HERE, as well as a series of chats with John Alvin.  

https://www.artinsights.com/artists/alvin-john/

NYCC 2016! ArtInsights is partnering with Alex Ross Art at New York Comic-Con! We have exclusives and world premieres:

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We are really excited to be partnering with Alex Ross Art at New York Comic-Con! We’ll be there at booth 2328 from October 6th to Sunday the 9th.  If you have tickets, come see us.  If you don’t, they still have tickets for Thursday HERE.  The rest of the weekend is sold out.  We posted about our exclusives HERE.   We also have two new pieces being premiered there, which include the wonderful GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY image which you can read all about and order HERE.  …and there’s the exclusive premiere of CRISIS!

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An image fans have been begging for for years, and we’re happy to bring it to you at NYCC!!  The information on that is HERE  Watch this blog, the front page of our website, and our Facebook page for the big reveal!

It was very exciting to be part of the decision of what the pieces would be, given the fact that having an exclusive at New York Comic-Con is such a big deal, but the folks at Alex Ross Art really wanted us to be a part of it all.  The Guardians of the Galaxy art being premiered is representative of one of my very favorite Marvel movies, and is the first time a production artist and production art of that series is being recreated as a limited edition.  The Crisis image is a HUGE deal to DC fans, so we are psyched! I want it myself <3

We are offering up the two exclusives at only one hour past the release at NYCC, so those of you who can’t make it or hate crowds or live far away can take advantage of the release and get a great low number if you go online on Thursday at 11:00 Eastern Standard Time.  We’ll take the orders as they come in, so as soon as you buy, we set the lowest number aside 🙂

They also gave us #1 in almost every edition they have created to date, which is wonderful for fans who love to get that special number.  It is usually kept in the archives but they really wanted to make a big splash at this convention, so they pulled out all the stops.  So glad we will be there as part of the fun!

PERSONAL NOTES ON THE ART:

As to the exclusives, I’ll tell you why I was particularly pleased with being able to have the images we’ll have in particular.  The Captain America image is super dramatic and as friends of mine know, he and Thor are my favorite Marvel characters, and always have been.  The Batman piece is great because, as silly as this sounds,rossbatmanexclusive I love when Batman actually looks like a bat, because bats, along with hummingbirds, are my favorite creatures in all the world. 

The Doctor Strange, although it has the smallest edition size, is my favorite of the three exclusives, because i’m really excited for the new movie and love all the trippy aspects of his storyline and the continuing journey from dark to light and back his character takes….and Benedict Cumberbatch. 

Doctor-Strange-NYCC-2016-Exclusive-Alex-RossI had to do research about Stephen Strange as part of representing the art and WOAH.  He has a seriously dark past with lots of loss.  I’m very intrigued to see the movie!  The character is very different from any others up till now, and there’s a spiritual element along with the archetypal Joseph Campbell-type stuff in it that makes me such a Star Wars fan.

We’ll be gone while we’re in NYC and the gallery will be closed for those days, but you all can email me with questions or concerns, or to see if we’ll have any of the exclusives left.

Wish us luck, and the right kind of Con-craziness!

Best to you all (and stay STRANGE)

Leslie at ArtInsights

The Art of the Beatles: All You Need is Love..and a Yellow Submarine-3 Day Show with Beatles animator Ron Campbell!

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THE ART OF THE BEATLES: ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE FEATURES RON CAMPBELL, BEATLES YELLOW SUBMARINE ANIMATOR & BEATLES SATURDAY MORNING TV CARTOON SERIES DIRECTOR TO APPEAR LIVE, PAINTING, EXHIBITING & TALKING CARTOONS AT ARTINSIGHTS ANIMATION & FILM GALLERY
Friday, September 23 2016 – 12:00 PM to Sunday, September 25 2016 – 04:00 PM
Location: ArtInsights
11921 Freedom Drive (Reston Town Center)
 Reston, VA 20190
THE LEGENDARY ANIMATOR/DIRECTOR WILL BE EXHIBITING HIS BEATLES CARTOON ART AS WELL AS PAINTING NEW WORKS DURING HIS APPEARANCE.
Campbell will also be exhibiting artwork featuring other beloved cartoon characters that encompass his 50-year career in Children’s Television such as Scooby Doo, the Smurfs, Rugrats, Winnie the Pooh, Flintstones, Jetsons, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & more.
 ALL WORKS ARE AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE.

In 1964 the Beatles invaded the United States, performing for 73 million people on the Ed Sullivan Show and dominating the US pop charts for years. Now over five decades later, the Fab Four continue to be the most celebrated musical group in Rock history. And Beatlemania is alive and well….just this month, the Beatles released a live CD of their Hollywood Bowl concerts and director Ron Howard premiered a documentary on the Fab Four’s touring years!

Ron Campbell, director of the 1960’s Saturday Morning Beatles Cartoon series and animator of the Beatles film Yellow Submarine will make a rare personal appearance at ArtInsights, 11921 Freedom Drive in the Reston Town Center in Reston, VA, Friday, September 23rd through Sunday, September 25th. Ron will showcase his original Beatles cartoon paintings created specially for the show and create new Beatles pop art paintings at the exhibit. The exhibit is free and all works are available for purchase.
Who: Ron Campbell, Director of the Beatles 1960’s Saturday Morning Cartoon series and animator of film Yellow Submarine. Also involved in Scooby Doo, Rugrats, Smurfs, Winnie the Pooh, Flintstones, Jetson’s, George of the Jungle, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and many others.

What: Ron Campbell will be offering for sale original cartoon paintings of the Beatles both in their ABC Cartoon and Yellow Submarine roles as well as various other works from his 50 year career in animation including Scooby Doo, Smurfs, Rugrats and more.

Where: ArtInsights Animation & Film Gallery, 11921 Freedom Drive in the Reston Town Center, Reston, VA 20190 (703) 478-0778. www.artinsights.com

When: Only three days, Friday, September 23rd – 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm 
Saturday, September 24th – 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm
 Sunday, September 25th – 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Details: Ron Campbell, director of the legendary

Saturday morning Beatles Cartoon series that aired on ABC from September 25, 1965 through April 20, 1969 and animator on the Beatles film Yellow Submarine will make a rare personal appearance at ArtInsights, 11921 Freedom Drive in the Reston Town Center, Reston VA for 3 days only.
The Saturday Morning Beatles Cartoon series received monstrous ratings in its time slot….a 67 share! The cartoon series debuted on ABC on September 25th 1965….exactly 51 years ago this weekend! It continually fueled new music to the young kids of America as they followed the bouncing drumstick to each Beatles tune. Campbell also wrote the forward to the definitive book on the Beatles cartoon series “Beatletoons.”

Yellow Submarine, recently celebrating its 47th anniversary, has become a permanent fixture in pop culture, defining the psychedelic 60s for generations to come. In his book, Up Periscope, Yellow Submarine Producer Al Brodax gives Ron Campbell a great deal of credit for saving the movie and tying it all together at the last minute.

Campbell has also been involved with some of the most beloved cartoons including, Scooby Doo, Winnie The Pooh, Krazy Kat, George of the Jungle, The Jetsons, The Flintstones, the Smurfs, Goof Troop, Rugrats, Ed, Edd & Eddy and dozens more. Campbell’s former studio was awarded a Peabody and an Emmy for his work in children’s television. Since retiring after a 50 year career, he has been painting subjects always based on the animated cartoons he has helped bring to the screen. With particular emphasis on The Beatles, he shows his Cartoon Pop Art in galleries worldwide.

About ArtInsights: Open and representing a wide range of film, animation, and contemporary art at their gallery in Reston Town Center since 1994, ArtInsights focuses on proprietary projects and artist representation relating to the history of animation and film, and the celebration and examination of popular culture. With artists like John Alvin, Alex Ross, Jim Salvati, and Tennessee Loveless, the gallery builds collections of original and limited edition art for their growing worldwide collector base. They were among the first galleries to welcome the art of Ron Campbell over a decade ago, and look forward to bringing his entire collection to fans across the region! See their work and read their blog on www.artinsights.com and www.artoutsiders.net 

Floyd Norman: An Animated Life review-Living Animation History

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Playing for a week in four theaters across the country and available on blu-ray and on iTunes August 26th, FLOYD NORMAN: AN ANIMATED LIFE is a delightful and fascinating documentary about “Disney Legend” Norman, who is widely regarded as the first African-American animator, hired at Walt Disney Studios in 1956.  The tagline for this movie says “Animator. Storyman. Troublemaker.”, and whether you are one of Floyd’s many friends in the animation industry, or someone experiencing him for the first time through the documentary, there’s no question all three labels are equally true. The term “floydering” was coined in reference to this man, who continued to go to Disney every day after he retired, to draw, visit, and interact with other artists all day.  He is equal parts an easygoing, gregarious, friend-to-all, and a rabble-rouser who doesn’t suffer fools or bullying of those around him, regardless of the source.

It’s easy to find much to appreciate in the way Norman’s life is presented without too much interference by the filmmakers.  The kudos for that go to co-directors Erik Sharkey and Michael Fiore. It’s Norman himself and the people who know him best who do the narrating.  The audience is able to get a real sense of the man as the sum of his past experiences and how they have informed his current life.

The film begins with Norman’s wife Adrienne, also an artist and currently at Disney, as she describes what it’s like to go to work at Disney publishing with her retired husband only to find him hours later in the office he has adopted for his “post-retirement”.  What she jokingly calls squatting he reframes as a friendly face, visiting and giving helpful hints.  Since Norman has been working with Disney on and off as an animator and story artist since the 50s, it’s advice they should consider very carefully. He was let go and rehired repeatedly, and each time he departed, he went off to do something fascinating and noteworthy.  In the 60s, he started a production company that wound up capturing the riots in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles on film.  If you saw footage from that time, it was probably his company that filmed it.  His company was also responsible for creating the animated sequence in the opening of the famed dance show Soul Train. Even now, he’s a fixture at San Diego Comic-Con, a part of an extremely popular panel called  “Quick Draw” with his friend Sergio Aragones of Mad Magazine fame. He was also on my panel this year about diversity in the history of animation, and you can get to know him a bit here, and see why you might want to know all about his life and experiences:

As someone who knows Floyd, his family, and animator friends, it’s hard not to be biased towards the celebration of his life. In fact, when I know a filmmaker, I tend to be even more critical, just to make sure i’m not seeing through ‘rose-colored glasses’.  However, FLOYD NORMAN: AN ANIMATED LIFE has twists, surprises, and the sort of story arc that even the most objective viewer can appreciate.  These attributes are no less essential to a good documentary than to the best fictional releases, and they exist here without feeling forced or contrived.  The audience is treated to a wide variety of celebrities and artists talking about the man that is often labeled “The Forrest Gump of animation”. There is a balance of intimacy, when he, his close friends, and his family consider some of the more difficult times of his life, and humor, especially in the animated sequences by various artists that offer a nod to Norman’s own often satirical comic illustrations.

Incidentally, it’s those comic illustrations he’s been doing since the 50s that have propelled him into all sorts of new adventures.  They speak to his acerbic wit and willingness to fearlessly speak his mind, but as the best artists do,  through his art.  The most inspiring aspect of FLOYD NORMAN: AN ANIMATED LIFE is the fact that as straightforward and opinionated as he is and always has been, he has still succeeded and thrived as an artist.  One might even say those traits are some of his greatest gifts.  In this day of tiptoeing around the corporate world, and staying silent to stay safe, Floyd Norman proves there is a way to be kind, be true to yourself, and be honest, all at the same time, and live a long happy life by continuing to doing so.

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Release is Happening! Celebrate with the art of Harry Potter

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We are so excited about the release of the book for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child! We know so many fans of the books and subsequently of the art of Harry Potter, and they’ve been ticking the days off like Harry Potter himself until the release of this new story.  It’s been amazing more spoilers haven’t leaked online, and you can find them if you look, but we hope you’ll celebrate with us by looking back on the great series both in books and onscreen through the artists that contributed so beautifully to them! CLICK HERE to see all the official Harry Potter art available through ArtInsights.

We have a great selection of art representing these artists including Mary Grandpre, movie concept artist Jim Salvati, and production designer Stuart Craig, spanning the original story of Harry Potter, Hermione, Ron, and the whole gang!

Come by soon and let’s talk about the book–but no spoilers! Sometimes other folks wandering around the gallery haven’t gotten around to it 😉

 

ARTINSIGHTS & CINEMA SIREN AT SDCC 2016: All the Panels!

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For those of you who frequent either my art gallery Artinsights or the website Cinema Siren, we are going to be at SDCC 2016 next week with three panels.  That means we won’t be in the gallery, but we WILL be creating amazing stories and memories.  Anyone who will be at Comic-Con International: San Diego, I hope you’ll come to whatever panels interest you we’ve put together!  And i’ll take this moment to thank all the amazing women and men who have supported, promoted, or are taking part in any way in these events.  One thing i’ve learned and will never forget is that there are genuine, enthusiastic, people in LA and working in Hollywood who still maintain their optimism and believe in making the world of film better!

You may not believe this, but there are actually nice, well-meaning agents and studio reps.  YES, YOU HEARD ME! 

Here are the three panels I’ve spent the better part of the last year putting together.  Do I believe in the subject matter? YES! There are lots of people spending hours outside their actual job trying to make change, and they deserve to be heard.  As long as I can and whatever way I can, i’ll shine a spotlight on anyone with vision and an open heart.  I invite you to do all you can to promote these people, and anyone who is working to make Hollywood more diverse and inclusive, while providing AWESOME entertainment!  Also let me send out a hearty thanks and express my gratitude to both Wattpad, the sponsor for our Women Rocking Hollywood panel, and Women In Animation, who sponsored our Cartoon Creatives panel. 

Thursday:

4:30 – 5:30 Cartoon Creatives: Women Power in AnimationWhile Women in Animation’s initiative strives to have a 50/50 workforce in the animation world by 2025, there are women leading the charge right now, creating, innovating, and guiding cartoons into a future filled with talent that goes beyond gender, and their fans are loving every minute of it. Scheduled to appear are Lauren Faust (creator, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic) Brooke Keesling (director of animation talent development at Disney TV Animation) Lauren Montgomery (co-executive producer, Voltron: Legendary Defender)  Stevie Wermers-Skelton (co-director, the upcoming Frozen Holiday Special) Gina Shay (producer, the upcoming Trolls) Katie Krentz (senior director of development: Cartoon Network, Steven Universe), Daron Nefcy (creator/executive producer, Star vs. the Forces of Evil) and Marge Dean (co-president, Women in Animation) to discuss their experiences and upcoming projects.  Moderated by Leslie Combemale of Animation Scoop.  Rm 24ABC

Friday:

1:30 – 2:30  Cartoon Legends Speak: Diversity in the History of AnimationA panel featuring great artists including Disney Legend, and first African-American animator hired at Walt Disney Studios, Floyd Norman (The Jungle Book, Monsters, Inc), first African-American animator to get a screen credit and award winning illustrator Ron Husband (The Rescuers, The Little Mermaid), Japanese-American and Inkpot winner Willie Ito (Lady & the Tramp, The Flintstones), Jane Baer (Sleeping Beauty, Roger Rabbit) discuss their careers, their futures, and how diversity has played a role in their artistic lives.  Moderated by Leslie Combemale of Animation Scoop. Room: 24ABC

Saturday:

2:00 – 3:00 Women Rocking HollywoodThis exciting new panel features powerful, talented women changing Hollywood from the inside.  As creatives, directors, and producers, they are breaking box office records and showing Hollywood altering the status-quo just makes for better movies. Scheduled to appear are Victoria Alonso (exec producer, Doctor Strange, Captain America: Civil War), Deborah Snyder (producer, Wonder Woman, Justice League) Angela Robinson (writer/director, D.E.B.S., True Blood, How to Get Away With Murder) Catherine Hardwicke (director, Twilight, upcoming Love Letters to the Dead) and Kirsten Schaffer (exec director, Women in Film: LA)  talking about positive changes in tinsel town, their work, and future projects. Marvel, DC, blockbusters, indies, and powerful women-This panel brings it all! Moderated by Leslie Combemale of Cinema Siren. Room: 25ABC

If you won’t be at SDCC, as many around the world, you can watch our panels on our YouTube Cinema Siren and ArtInsights channels, or you wait and see them when we post them on our websites.  As for ArtInsights, we’ll be back on Wednesday, July 27th.  Come visit, call, or chat online.  Meanwhile you can also read a bit more about my experience putting together the panels HERE on my column for Animation Scoop.

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Cartoon Creatives panel at Comic-Con International: San Diego Announced!

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So now that it’s on the official schedule on the comic-con website, I can officially announce my first panel in San Diego!  I am honored to have such an amazing collection of women taking part in this discussion. Marge Dean, of Women in Animation, who are sponsoring the panel, will be explaining the current state of the industry, and we will be chatting with some super creative people about their ideas, artistry, and inspiration!
HERE IS THE WRITE-UP:
4:30 Thursday, July 21st.
While Women in Animation’s initiative strives to have a 50/50 workforce in the animation world by 2025, there are women leading the charge right now, creating, innovating, and guiding cartoons into a future filled with talent that goes beyond gender, and their fans are loving every minute of it. Scheduled to appear are Lauren Faust (creator, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic), Brooke Keesling(director of animation talent development at Disney TV Animation), Lauren Montgomery (co-executive producer, Voltron Legendary Defenders), Stevie Wermers-Skelton (co-director, the upcoming Frozen Holiday Special), Gina Shay (producer, the upcoming Trolls), Katie Krentz (director of development: Cartoon Network, Steven Universe), Daron Nefcy (creator/executive producer, Star vs. the Forces of Evil) and Marge Dean (co-president, Women in Animation), talking about their experiences and upcoming projects. Moderated by Leslie Combemale of Animation Scoop. Room 24ABC.
If you are going to the con, go to the site and let us know you’re coming to our panel! We have some cool giveaways, and smart, talented women have created some of the best animation out there!
Here’s the link on the official SDCC website:

Michelle St Laurent appearing July 2nd at ArtInsights for “Delighting in Disney Detail” show, on display through August 8th

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We at artinsights are incredibly pleased to once again welcome Michelle St Laurent to the Gallery on July 2nd, to present some beautiful new original interpretive Disney art, and her latest limited editions for the exhibit on display through August 8th. Her inspired art has only become more popular and beautiful since the last time she visited us in 2014, and we’re so excited to present these new images to our clients and friends. 

Join us  Saturday, July 2nd, 2:00pm to 6:00pm

You can meet Michelle, and see some of her new exquisite pieces. She will be personalizing all purchases at the show!

The exhibit of her work will be on display through August 8th, so those two can’t make it this weekend can come through August and enjoy her visual warmth, and her sweet, perfectly rendered style, which has made her they go-to artist for collectors of interpretive Disney scenes.

Check out her work HERE.

The Art Outsiders by Tennessee Loveless Premieres at ArtInsights- Loveless Attends!

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Famed Drag & Contemporary Artist TENNESSEE LOVELESS Releases First Images of His New Project “THE ART OUTSIDERS” at ArtInsights Gallery.  Meet ‘10SC’ on May 21 & 22 from 2 – 4 pm 

Reston, VA – In conjunction with the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival on May 21 and 22 at Reston Town Center, ArtInsights has the worldwide exclusive premiere of images from The Art Outsiders by Tennessee Loveless. The Art Outsiders is a portrait collection of important and influential creators who, through their struggle and determination have changed the world with their unique genius. The Chicago-based, internationally known artist will be making a personal appearance, 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 21 and Sunday, May 22 at ArtInsights Gallery, 11921 Freedom Drive, Reston, VA. The display of his original and limited edition art will continue as the collection expands, and as sales allow. As always, gallery admission is free. For more information, contact ArtInsights at 703-478-0778 and visit  HYPERLINK “http://www.artoutsiders.net” www.artoutsiders.net.   

The first seven images of the series, which are part of a growing list of over 40 names, include Divine, Van Gogh, Coco Chanel, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, David Bowie, and Judy Garland.  The Art Outsiders Project is a collection of portraits of people who were outsiders of their own field of work. From science, music, art, writing, fashion, and beyond, Loveless is writing the stories of each outsider’s life, and imbedding it into the structure of their portrait. The pieces act dually as portraits and stories, and all of them combined will talk about persevering through the darkest times to create a different kind of beauty that changed and continues changing the world.

Although he only began working on the project in November, the originals have been commissioned so quickly he already has a backlog from longtime collectors who had pre-announcement access to the list. Art collectors interested in the project can go to the Web page of all current Art Outsiders available for purchase, or can nominate someone not currently on the list for consideration, as names are being added all the time. Loveless decides, from his own perspective, if they fit with his vision of the project. Says Loveless, “I know what it’s like being an outsider. Creating these images, being inside these creators’ lives as I paint them, moves me far beyond what I was expecting. Seeing the collectors connecting so viscerally, being moved too, is the most rewarding experience of my career.” 

His fine art representative and partner in The Art Outsiders project is ArtInsights owner Leslie Combemale. From her perspective, the fact that Loveless is colorblind and limited in his ability to see color, is a fascinating after-thought in considering Loveless’ unique talent and artistic voice.  “Tennessee’s art comes from his entire being, and his life experience. It’s true he has had to choose colors based on psychology rather than a personal visual understanding, but that is only one aspect creating the unique depth of his images. For The Art Outsiders project, for example, he is entirely immersing himself in the lives of the artists he is painting.  He is speaking to their struggle, importance, and relevance. I’m thrilled it’s being so well received. People either love or hate his art, and I think that’s a great sign! It’s true for all iconoclastic contemporary artists”.

 

ABOUT TENNESSEE LOVELESS

Tennessee is inspired by his fascination with pop art, flamboyant fashion and film icons, and the underground drag culture. Although he attended the Savannah College of Art and Design, he began his career in earnest by painting drag queens in San Francisco. Simultaneously, while gaining recognition for that work, he became an product developer and artist at Disney, where he ultimately came to prominence with the 10x10x10 series, one hundred iconic silhouettes of Mickey Mouse’s face expressing a pop journey, exploring the history of the icon, while bringing global, societal, and personal context to the imagery. He has created art for an official selection at the Cannes Film Festival, was honored with a Smithsonian Artist Residency Fellowship, has been the featured artist in Anthology Magazine, and made one of the “People of the Year” in Instinct Magazine. The darling of contemporary art collectors around the world, he has been an artist in residence in Berlin, Paris, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Chicago. He’s the 2016 official Summer Olympics artist with designs created for Speedo representing Brazil and USA. More information is available at  HYPERLINK “http://tennesseeloveless.com/” www.tennesseeloveless.com

Loveless comes by his love of drag through his own experience as an accomplished drag performer both in San Francisco and Seattle with Trannyshack, the drag performance group founded by Hecklina at the Stud bar in San Francisco in 1996. He is also the founder and programmer of the Internet music show Beautiful Noise Broadcast, which has since morphed into Gorgeous Sound Underground.  

ABOUT ARTINSIGHTS GALLERY

ArtInsights is a privately owned gallery located just outside Washington DC at 11921 Freedom Drive, Reston, Virginia, in Reston Town Center. In addition to their focus on the art of film, the gallery is displaying the work of The Art Outsiders project, which is a partnership between Tennessee Loveless and Leslie Combemale. Open since 1994, and co-owned by Combemale, ArtInsights is expanding to allow the display of the contemporary work of artists and art projects represented by Combemale Creative, her company for international art consulting and artistic representation. The gallery has Loveless’ Art Outsiders art as well as representative art from his entire career, including drag queens and 10x10x10. Visit ArtInsights at  HYPERLINK “https://www.artinsights.com/” www.artinsights.com. For more information about The Art Outsiders project and Tennessee Loveless, visit  HYPERLINK “http://artoutsiders.net/” artoutsiders.net.  

In Mortal Combat

The NEW Alex Ross Art Collection: How Alex Ross and his team created an art program with Marvel, DC, Beatles, and more!

Lots has been happening in the world of the superhero, and now is the perfect time to update fans of superhero art! Have you seen Captain America: Civil War yet? Well, surprisingly timely is the roll-out of the new Alex Ross art collection, and it’s just getting started.  We are happy to be part of their team of galleries, and one of only three with the first assortment actually physically in the gallery, so you can get your eyes on the art.

You may be wondering what all the fuss is about, since Alex Ross art has been available to fans since the days of the Warner Brothers stores.  Don’t worry, I’m here to explain it to you.

Those of you who have been following the career of Alex Ross, who of late has had exhibits in the likes of the Warhol and Rockwell museums, and has been placed in national museums around the world, know that Ross has been one of the very few comic book and pop culture illustrators to help break that art into the “real art” world.  This is actually a big deal, especially for those who believe the work by the creators of comic books deserve artistic recognition like me.

The story behind how Ross and his own team started a new art program is pretty innocuous.  Apparently he just wanted control of his own artistic destiny, and they figured now is the time. 

The company that first sold his art was Clampett Studio, which is run by people who basically made him famous through his exposure in the Warner Brothers stores.  In fact, Clampett Studio, and the artists they represent, should absolutely be on your radar and here’s why: Clampett Studio, which is run by Ruth Clampett, the daughter of famed Warner Brothers animator Bob Clampett, is the one company that sells art of the comic books, cartoons, and film that only sells art created by artists who actually work on the movies.  THEY ARE THE ONLY ONE.  and what’s more, they support the artists.  Once someone works with them, they never look back.  If you love the art of Alex Ross, you partially have Ruth Clampett and those who work with her to thank.

As i mentioned, she still has art by Alex Ross available, but those signed by him are selling out fast.  We can access and sell you anything on her website, and I urge you to support her artists and collections.  Jim Lee is still part of her assortment, for example, as is all the OFFICIAL art of Harry Potter.  You can dive into the Alex Ross works available HERE.

For all the assortments on Clampett Studio, go HERE.

So, back to this new Alex Ross collection….they decided to take the reigns back and start their own art program.  Normally, Warner Brothers wouldn’t let an artist make a decision like that, but this is Alex Ross.  Now that they’ve taken the art program in-house, and with a big splash in Los Vegas with a release of Beatles art, they are forging forward.

The person in charge of their art program is an old friend, and I am absolutely 100% behind her and the Alex Ross Art program, because she always knows how to build a great collection, limit releases, and consider the collector. She is a fan, and a fan who knows the business is the best person in the world to create a lasting collection of art.

Now might be a good time for full disclosure. I haven’t always loved all of Ross’s work.  I think some of it looks very frenetic, and too full of color.  Yet, somehow, the new work has a calmness, a grace to it, that rises above much of the art i’ve seen before.  For example, limiting the color palate in this collection of four images and making them a series that visually complements each other was brilliant.  Also, the painting of Wonder Woman is, to my mind, one of the best pieces he’s ever done.  The crazy thing is, it’s in an edition of only 50.  I assume it’s because they want their first pieces to blow through and succeed with a sell out.  YES!

Shadows: Wonder Woman

What does all this mean for you?  It means great art, well curated, considered, and controlled.  The first release was impressive onscreen, but when it came in, I was gobsmacked. ESPECIALLY the Wonder Woman and the Captain America v Iron Man.  If you’re in the area, come in and see the art.  Also, I forgot to mention there are several pieces that are only $150, and on canvas, representing both DC and Marvel.  I am sorely tempted to buy some of it myself!

Liberty and Justice: JLA

All New All Different Avengers

Lastly, although it’s likely you won’t have access, we WILL be getting some originals by Alex to sell.  While you can get art directly from his company, they will be releasing special production graphites that won’t be available through them that you can get from the galleries.  Not only is this a great sign they are committed to the galleries, it also means we can get wonderful original art for his fans!

I hope you’ll come by if you live in the area, but if you don’t, I still hope you’ll peruse the art on Clampett Studios, and on our own site created by Alex Ross and buy from us.  The museum exhibits coming up and the work he’s doing with both Marvel and DC speak to Ross’s expanding fame and success, and if you love comic books, his work is a great way to bring it into your home and celebrate your love of all things superhero! Also, he is one of the only artists who can create the art of the Beatles.  Here’s the piece that’s both a limited edition, and very inexpensive:

Fab Four Yellow Submarine Mini Canvas by Alex Ross

Meanwhile, contact ArtInsights if you have any questions, or are looking for particular characters.  We’d also love to hear from you about what you thought of CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR.  To get you all the more excited, here’s Cinema Siren’s review, which includes interviews with both Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr.

AND if you want to see all the new Alex Ross art for sale at the gallery, go HERE!

Thanks and until next time, LET’S GO, CAP!

Leslie, for ArtInsights

New Batman Adventures Original Production Cel You Scratch My Back

The Official Art of DC show-The Art of Batman: The Animated Series

Batman The Animated Series Original Production Cel Lion and the Unicorn

In the history of our having the art of DC at ArtInsights, which has been over 23 years, I’ve seen some pretty spectacular cels and backgrounds from Batman and Superman.  I have a particular fondness for art from Batman: The Animated Series.  I remember one background of the Arkham Asylum that was all dark blues and blacks, with some gorgeous details and a creep factor that rose above Nigel Tufnel’s 11.

I also remember a cel of Batman that had absolutely everything anyone who loved the character would want.  He was next to the Batmobile, gadgets in-hand, cape flying.  I’ve learned that really the first season of episodes from Batman: The Animated Series in 1992 are the best in terms of art.  After a while, creator and character designer Bruce Timm altered the way the cartoon looked, making it more anime-inspired, which was fun to watch, but not nearly as compelling as art.

The people of Clampett Studio Collections who have the rights to sell animation from these cartoons know my taste.  They know I really only want cels and backgrounds from the early part of the series.  They know I also feel that way about the Superman series. The problem is, it’s been years since the show, and there’s not nearly as much available now as there first was.  Imagine my giddy pleasure at opening up what they sent for our Batman v Superman: The Art of DC show and finding a really great assortment of older and newer cels!

Many fans know this, but occasional viewers may not be aware of the star power utilized as voice talent on Batman: The Animated Series.  Kevin Conroy won out over reputedly hundreds of other voice actor hopefuls, and to no surprise, given he studied at Juilliard under actor John Houseman, during which time he lived with Robin Williams.  Here is an interview with him on a podcast…

Here’s a fun interview with Kevin at the Denver Comic-Con:

It was there I first learned Mark Hamill as The Joker had a singular ability as a voice artist, and indeed that’s what drove me to buy the audio book for World War Z, in which Hamill has an pivotal role.  Here’s a great little vid about him and the character with both he and Bruce Timm:

Mark Hamill’s not the only well-cast actor, though.  Here are just a few of the people you might recognize that take part in the series:

Melissa Gilbert: The former star of Little House on the Prairie plays Barbara Gordon and Batgirl

Marilou Henner: The actress from Taxi plays Veronica Vreeland

Adam West: TV’s favorite Batman plays Simon Trent and The Gray Ghost

Arleen Sorkin: The actress who plays Calliope Jones on Days of Our Lives is Harley Quinn

Paul Williams: The dude from Phantom of the Paradise and singer extraordinaire is The Penguin

Adrienne Barbeau: Former sex symbol and star of the original of Steven King’s The Myst is Catwoman

Ron Perlman: Hellboy is Clayface!

Roddy McDowall: The child star of Lassie and star of classic cult favorite Planet of the Apes is The Mad Hatter

Ed Asner: Multi-award winning vocal star of UP plays corrupt businessman Roland Daggett

Kate Mulgrew: Everyone’s favorite starship captain plays Red Claw

Helen Slater: Supergirl and the co-star of The Secret of My Success is Talia

Treat Williams: The star of 1979’s Hair plays Professor Achilles Milo

Michael York: The star of 1973’s The Three Musketeers and cult fave Logan’s Run is Count Werner Vertigo

I love that in 1992 Entertainment Weekly rated Batman: The Animated Series as one of the top shows of the year. It certainly endures as a longterm favorite among cartoon aficionados.  I’m happy to have the art to sell and look at every day at my gallery. Here are a few favorites:

batman-animated-series-jokers-minions

Batman-Animated-series-cel-Deep-Freeze

spotlight on jim lee

Batman v Superman – The Official Art of DC: The Art of Jim Lee

THE ART OF JIM LEE

In deciding to have a Batman v Superman art show with the official art of DC, several things were at play.  As Cinema Siren, the film critic, I am inundated with press info and notes and EPK (electronic press kit) about the upcoming movie, which is being released late March (as many fans know!), but I also have a pretty longstanding history with Zack Snyder, because I interviewed him years ago, went for a nature walk with him, and talked Joseph Campbell, womanpower, and the love of classic movies with him.  This was way before he got tapped to do any superhero movies, and I can tell you, whatever you opinion of him as a director, as a guy, he’s pretty down to earth and quite fabulous.  So while I have to watch the movie with an unjaundiced and unbiased eye, I can promote the theory of all things Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman all I want, because like they say about parties and crying, it’s my gallery and i’ll pimp DC if I want to!

It’s been a while since Warner Brothers gave over the rights to selling their DC images to my friend Ruth. She used to work for them directly, helped start up and run the Warner Brothers stores, and then for all the galleries around the world became the one and only source for the official art of DC.

What I’ve always loved about Ruth and Clampett Studio Collections is Ruth has always felt strongly about keeping the artists representing DC, along with any other WB properties she represents, as artists who actually have a hand in the making of the shows and movies. As such, the art of Jim Lee was essential to the collection.

Jim Lee is a Korean American comic book artist, writer, editor, and publisher. He started out his adult career plans with begrudgingly working towards becoming a medical doctor at Princeton, as his family wished, but he had always loved comics. His high school classmates even predicted in his senior yearbook he would found his own comic book company.

During college he took an art class and started reading comics again, and that got him excited enough he committed himself to one year’s try at being a professional comic book artist. When Archie Goodwin of Marvel invited him to work for them, he embarked on a career that led to multiple awards, building an enthusiastic and loyal fanbase, starting his own comic imprint, and ultimately becoming the co-publisher of DC. He is in the Guinness World Records for creating the best-selling comic book of all time.

In my research for writing about Jim Lee, I discovered he has had nine children with his wife Carla. How on Goddess’s green earth does he have any time to do anything? I have to say one of the most impressive things about Jim, given the many balls he has in the air at any given moment, is that when fans are talking to him, they really feel he’s listening and paying attention to them. He’s always been one of the best artists to meet at any con for that reason and because he seems to embody the joy of being an artist in every inch of his being. He is also an inspiration to anyone who wants to be a successful artist, because as an artist he worked his way up to being at the top of one of the biggest comic book companies in the world.

There are some very choice limited editions available signed by Jim Lee in our show. I would never have an exhibit and sale of DC art without his work.

Here are some of my favorites:Batman Over San Prospero

BATMAN OVER SAN PROSPERO:
This piece was inspired by the Modena landscape in Italy, a country that is dear to Jim’s heart. He spends time there every year. This image was featured in “Jim Lee Millennium Edition,” a compilation of images from Jim Lee’s career.

 

FOR TOMORROW: 

For Tomorrow

This image was used for a cover to the Superman Adventures series. I love Superman. I think you’re either a lover or a hater. I just found out recently that Superman didn’t start out flying. It was only later that they wrote in that he could, even though now it’s one of his most recognizable powers.

There was a great interview with the writer of a book called “Superman: The High-Flying History of America’s Most Enduring Hero” and I learned lots about the character that someone who doesn’t read every comic would find fascinating. I also didn’t know he was originally “The Man of Tomorrow”…so I guess this art comes by its title honestly!

Also, the really great editor at DC who has lots to do with what happens to and with Superman, Mike Carlin, recommends SUPERMAN LIVES, an audio CD. BUY IT THIS SECOND! (and you can buy some of our art as well, but yes. Superman on CD? OH YESSS!)

KISSING THE NIGHT:

Kissing the Knight

This is a great piece to me because when I met and hung out with Jim, he drew me a great little Catwoman, where she is holding a Batman toy and saying MEOW. I thought this piece was super hot, and love the color of it, and the composition. I also love that it’s on t-shirts and mugs and such, and yet it’s actually possible to have a limited edition of it signed by Jim Lee, and they never add any numbers to a sold-out edition, so the fact that it’s $425 and there are only 250 of them is a bit mind boggling to an art gallery geek like me. The image appeared first in the Batman comic “In the Mouth of Madness.”

TRINITY:

Trinity

Last but not least of my favorites, this giclee on canvas has only 100 pieces, and it’s so badass of all the art by Jim Lee i’d want this one. For better or worse, my eyes go immediately to Wonder Woman and stay there. I love that she looks without question that she can hold her own with the other two heroes, although I haven’t read the Trinity series…This piece was the cornerstone of our show, because it so captures the anticipation of the Batman v Superman feature film coming soon to theaters.

While I prefer Wonder Woman from the World War II era, I’ll make an exception for Jim’s work. For more information and the history of Wonder Woman CLICK HERE.

We hope to see you at ArtInsights you soon so we can geek out together about these superheroes, or so you can correct one or all of us about something they did, said, or wore 😉

Leslie
ArtInsights

“BATMAN V SUPERMAN: Official Art of DC Comics” Exhibit opening at ArtInsights March 2nd

Trinity

Reston, VA: ArtInsights Animation and Film Art Gallery is hosting an exhibit of limited edition and original comic book and animation art featuring Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, the characters soon to be the central focus of Zack Snyder’s new movie “Batman V Superman” premiering March 25th. Other popular DC Comics superheroes and villains will also be for sale and on display. The show runs from March 2 through April 4 at ArtInsights, 11921 Freedom Drive, Reston, Virginia 20190, in Reston Town Center.

The images on exhibit will encompass the work of a variety of well-known figures in the comics and cartoon world, including limited editions by Jim Lee, renowned artist and co-Publisher of DC Entertainment, and production art from Bruce Timm’s Batman and Superman animated series. Says Leslie Combemale, co-owner of ArtInsights, “I love that the world of movies is catching up to what comic book fans have known for years. Comic book art is real art, and so is production art from the superhero cartoons. It’s made by the artists who celebrate these characters and keep them at the forefront of pop culture.  No one represents that more than Jim Lee, and we’re proud to have his art, and the art of these icons gracing our walls.” Continues Combemale, “It’s so much fun, seeing kids and cosplayers dressed as their favorite hero or villain, coming in.  They often leave with art, but always with smiles on their faces!”

ABOUT ARTINSIGHTS ANIMATION AND FILM ART GALLERY

Established in 1994, ArtInsights is a privately owned gallery located just outside of Washington, DC at Reston Town Center, in Virginia. The gallery presents important images from the 20th and 21st century film art genre, including original art from the masters of film and moving entertainment. From film campaign artists to concept and layout artists to production designers and animators, ArtInsights represents a wide collection from the giants and up and comers of film art. The gallery exclusively represents the original art of the great cinema poster artist John Alvin, and also exhibits Tim Rogerson, Jim Salvati, Mike Kungl, and Chuck Jones, among others. Featured studios include Disney, Warner Bros., Paramount, and 20th Century Fox. ArtInsights also features contemporary art by artists such as the innovative Tennessee Loveless, who is known for his portraits of drag queens and pop icons. With more than 30 years’ experience, the owners work with their worldwide collector base to build and insure the integrity of their collections. See and learn more on the website and on the web magazine, and hear and see movie reviews by owner Leslie Combemale’s alter ego, Cinema Siren, all of which are published on her site www.cinemasiren.com,  as well as on Indiewire, Screenrelish.com, patch.com, and other recognized outlets dedicated to film worldwide.

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Journey to Hogwarts by Jim Salvati

“SORCERERS IN SNOW: HOGWARTS IN WINTER” Harry Potter Exhibit will donate a portion of sales in honor of Alan Rickman

Thank You Alan Rickman

ArtInsights Gallery presents “SORCERERS IN SNOW: HOGWARTS IN WINTER” New Exhibit of Original and Limited Edition Harry Potter Art. In Honor of Actor Alan Rickman, a Portion of Proceeds will Benefit Charities

 

Reston, VA – ArtInsights Animation and Film Art Gallery celebrates the art of Harry Potter with a collection of original and limited edition art by artists who worked on the book and film series. 10% of sales will benefit two charities; Lumos, which was started by JK Rowling, and strives to end institutionalization of children worldwide, and Saving Faces, a foundation focused on cancer treatment. This is in honor of Harry Potter actor Alan Rickman, who passed away on January 14, and was a patron of the charity. The show runs from January 18 through February 29 at ArtInsights, 11921 Freedom Drive, Reston, Virginia 20190, in Reston Town Center. 

 “We are happy to have art by Mary GrandPré, illustrator of the Harry Potter book series, who reminds us of the magic of our childhood while reading the novels for the first time.” says ArtInsights co-owner Leslie Combemale. The gallery will have limited edition book art by Mary GrandPré, original production art by Harry Potter concept artist Jim Salvati, official art by Stuart Craig, the production designer for the entire film series, and other pieces created by artists who worked on the books or movies. “Alan Rickman added immeasurably to the Harry Potter franchise, and we wanted to honor his legacy as an actor by supporting a charity that was dear to him,” says Combemale. “We planned this before his passing, because his birthday is February 21, and we will still be celebrating that, but sadly must consider it a tribute as well.” Rickman played Professor Severus Snape in all the films, but was also a multi-award winning actor on both stage and screen.

 

ABOUT ARTINSIGHTS ANIMATION AND FILM ART GALLERY

Established in 1994, ArtInsights is a privately owned gallery located just outside of Washington, DC at Reston Town Center, in Virginia. The gallery presents important images from the 20th and 21st century film art genre, including original art from the masters of film and moving entertainment. From film campaign artists to concept and layout artists to production designers and animators, ArtInsights represents a wide collection from the giants and up and comers of film art. With more than 30 years’ experience, the owners work with their worldwide collector base to build and insure the integrity of their collections. They sell only official art created by artists working on the films they represent, with rare images used in production as well as original commissions which are often used to create official limited editions.  ArtInsights exclusively represents the original art of the great cinema poster artist John Alvin, and also exhibits Tim Rogerson, Jim Salvati, Mike Kungl, and Chuck Jones, among others. Featured studios include Disney, Warner Bros., Paramount, and 20th Century Fox, in a display of images from the best classic movies and animated features of the last 100 years as well as newer classics like Star Wars and Harry Potter. See and learn more on the website www.artinsights.com and on the web magazine www.artinsightsmagazine.com, and hear and see movie reviews by owner Leslie Combemale’s alter ego, Cinema Siren, all of which are published on her site www.cinemasiren.com,  as well as on Indiewire, Screenrelish.com, and other recognized outlets dedicated to film worldwide.

 

ABOUT LUMOS

Founded by JK Rowling in 2005, Lumos works in partnership with governments, professionals and carers, communities, families and children, to transform outdated systems that drive families apart.  Lumos believes that as institutionalization denies children individual love and care, it can damage their brain development, and destroy their understanding of right and wrong.  Together with their partners they replace institutions with community based services that provide children with access to health, education and social care tailored to their individual needs. Lumos has a single, simple goal: to end the institutionalization of children worldwide by 2050.  You can find out more about the charity at: http://www.wearelumos.org/

 

ABOUT SAVING FACES

Saving Faces is a registered research charity based at the historic St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in West Smithfield, London. The charity is carrying out groundbreaking work in areas such as the role of selective neck dissection in early oral cancer treatment, the psychological factors in head and neck and gastrointestinal cancer, the prevention of smoking and binge drinking amongst teenagers and the development of rapid detection tools for oral cancer. At Saving Faces they keep their administrative costs to a minimum. Unlike the majority of charities, their Chief Executive is unpaid, so donors can feel secure in the knowledge that their money goes towards important medical research and the support of patients. For more information, go to: http://www.savingfaces.co.uk/

 

 

Remembering Alan Rickman & Celebrating Harry Potter

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Yes, the loss of Alan Rickman is felt acutely by lovers of Harry Potter and all those in the HP fandom. 

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Rickman brought Professor Snape to life in a way no one else could, and created a much bigger audience for the movies out of his many fans.  As much as I loved the books, having Alan Rickman announced as Snape just made me all the more excited and committed to watching the entire film series.  The film series is full of wonderful actors, but it is because of him, first and foremost, that I became so attached to it.

I’ve been to many conventions, been a part of lots of panels, and sold hundreds of pieces of official Harry Potter art.  I’ve seen Alan Rickman in plays for years, and even felt a kinship because he was connected to RADA (I went there) and we shared a birthday (February 21st). I know from my fellow HP fans, collectors, and production artists that Snape, and by extension Alan Rickman as that character, came to be a representative for all things misunderstood, weird, and wonderful.

Snape was both good and bad, trapped and stymied by his overwhelming love and bitterness.  He was a cautionary tale and an inspiration. There are few characters that do that as well.

As an actor, it’s a powerful legacy to have built from just one character.  Of course many remember him as Hans Gruber from Die Hard, but he had a long and stellar career both on stage and screen. Sometimes he was the picture of subtlety, sometimes an intentional scenery-chewer, but always compelling to watch.

alan-rickman-hans-gruber

Reportedly, he was also kind and giving as a colleague and friend.  Daniel Radcliffe said in 2014, “Alan has cut short holidays that he’s been having to come and see me in plays, and take me out for dinner afterwards to talk to me about stuff.  I think when he realized how serious I was about wanting to be an actor, and he knew what a particular world the Potter set was to grow up in, he just sort of made it his – he just really wanted to help us all and has been very helpful to me, certainly.”

Here is what Dan wrote in tribute to Alan at his passing:

Alan Rickman is undoubtedly one of the greatest actors I will ever work with. He is also, one of the loyalest and most supportive people I’ve ever met in the film industry. He was so encouraging of me both on set and in the years post-Potter. I’m pretty sure he came and saw everything I ever did on stage both in London and New York. He didn’t have to do that. I know other people who’ve been friends with him for much much longer than I have and they all say, ‘If you call Alan, it doesn’t matter where in the world he is or how busy he is with what he’s doing, he’ll get back to you within a day.’

People create perceptions of actors based on the parts they played so it might surprise some people to learn that contrary to some of the sterner (or downright scary) characters he played, Alan was extremely kind, generous, self-deprecating and funny. And certain things obviously became even funnier when delivered in his unmistakable double-bass.

As an actor, he was one of the first of the adults on Potter to treat me like a peer rather than a child. Working with him at such a formative age was incredibly important and I will carry the lessons he taught me for the rest of my life and career. Film sets and theatre stages are all far poorer for the loss of this great actor and man.

always

We were just preparing a show of Harry Potter art called “Sorcerers in Snow: Hogwarts in Winter”, when we were approached by the founder of the www.alwaysjkrowling.com site about raising awareness and funds for a charity Rowling had started called Lumos. Lumos endeavors to make the institutionalization of children in the world a distant memory. We backtracked and added that we’d donate 10% of sales proceeds to Lumos . Then this morning we found out fans had lost their Snape, and of course we wanted to donate to one of Rickman’s causes as well, so we added a charity he supported, Saving Faces. It does research, aids in treatment, and works to expand awareness about facial diseases like oral cancer. Both charities are worthy and important, and we always love having a charity component when we have an exhibit or collection.  The idea is to hopefully do well and do good at the same time.

It feels like a way to channel our sadness at a loss, with a proactive way of celebrating not only the work of J.K Rowling, but the life of an amazing actor who inspired us with his work and life.  We can bring attention to charities that might make the world a little better, and raise a little money for them as well.  If you are interested in donating directly, or want more information on the charities, go to wearelumos.org http://wearelumos.org/  and savingfaces.co.uk http://www.savingfaces.co.uk/.  To see our collection of art from Harry Potter, go to our HARRY POTTER PAGE.

Cinema Siren’s Top 10 Movie Posters of 2015 (with help from Andrea Alvin and Bill McCloskey!)

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Below you’ll find Cinema Siren’s Top 10 Movie Posters of 2015, AS WELL AS added opinions and thoughts from Andrea Alvin and Bill McCloskey–both who were involved in the making of some of the best movie posters in recent film history!

Go here to go to the youtube vid.

The past is the past.  As someone who celebrates traditional illustration in movie posters, it’s hard to say.  It’s not that there are any nods or actual illustrations being used to promote new films, or that there won’t be a resurgence, but the era that genius artists like John Alvin and Richard Amsel made their own is gone forever.  And there are reasons for that.  Not only are many of the greats lost to us, having passed away, but more importantly, the world of film promotion has changed so significantly.  When the artists who brought us posters like the one for E.T. and RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK created their memorable images, the closest thing they had to a social network was word of mouth.  An advance poster, as John Alvin would say, created “the promise of a great experience”.  It had to. We as movie fans couldn’t click to see a trailer, or see a youtube featurette, or read about the coming attractions on the hundreds of film blogs vying for fans’ attentions.  Just today, Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange rose to the top of trending topics on Facebook.

So posters, and movie campaigns as a whole, have had to embrace and use the times.  As a result, these top posters reflect the new way in which art directors, brand managers, and studios are leveraging fandoms around the world and the power of social media in their campaigns.  Some of these images attempt to harken back to the golden age of movie posters, and some still attempt to grab and hold at least a fraction of the attention of curious film lovers with just one image. Good for them.  As the representative of the estate of film artist John Alvin, I applaud them.  It is through that experience, my knowledge as a film critic, a movie lover, and as an expert in film art, I offer my top movie posters of the year. 

In the interest of you not just taking my word for it, I have also enlisted Bill McClosky, former art director at Intralink Film Graphic Design and Andrea Alvin, John Alvin’s wife and partner in Alvin and Associates, to add their comments and insights.

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10. INSURGENT:

Since a blending of photoshop and photography creates the palette for most film posters these days, the best find ways to connect with the audience in a visceral way—and make potential viewers both curious and excited. This visual riff on a playing card shows an equal power between the masculine and the feminine in the film, while suggesting the action is both off kilter and off the charts.  This poster reminds fans of the Divergent series while motivating potential viewers to check out the franchise.

Andrea Alvin:  I like the formality and elegance of this design and its allusion to the ying and yang symbol. It’s an image of the two characters in a world that is coming apart. Its visually appealing and conceptually tells a story.

Bill McCloskey: I agree with both Leslie and Andrea on this one, in addition I think this does something very unique to movie posters – it changed orientation. One of the most frustrating things, as well as a benefit, as a designer of movie campaigns is the size and orientation of the poster is consistently one shape and one proportion, this campaign switches the focus to the top and the bottom of the frame, in addition to the symmetry of the opposing figures.

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9: ANT-MAN

This campaign offers great tag-lines (“Heroes Don’t Get Any Bigger”, “No Shield. No Armor. No Problem.”)  and uses the leverage of Marvel power to promote a movie that had gotten quite a bit of negative press.  Their designs made huge strides in rebranding the film.  The advance is fun and cheeky, but the series that thumbs its nose at the big boys who have brought in so much money for Marvel while reminding us the character is part of the Marvel team was genius, and positioned the film as funnier than its predecessors.  Fans got what they expected at the multiplex.

Andrea Alvin: I love the copy line. Its strong and funny. This is a great image. It tells us that this little guy will stand up to the big and powerful and hold his own. Its a strong graphic and an image we can remember and it brands the film.

Bill McCloskey: This has one of the best composition elements going for it…Contrast in size. This also benefits from being able to utilize two other fantastic franchises, Captain America and Iron Man, but they were used so tastefully and with minimal exploitation, they serve the image rather than dominate it.

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8: AMERICAN ULTRA

Is it the 70s? Does it matter?  The campaign for American Ultra had to draw the stoner contingent as well as those who love Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart’s other work.  This poster says, “Pot!, Guns!, America!”.  The film had to do the rest.

Bill McCloskey: Teaser posters tend to be able to exploit the size and position of certain elements. I love the title treatment as that was the element I mostly designed during my career. There will be a problem utilizing this in the final campaign because it will require putting on the most disgusting element of the movie poster…the billing block, as that size is always determined by the physical size of the logo’s lettering.

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7: JURASSIC WORLD

With the original logo still intact, this poster for Jurassic World reminds its audience dinosaurs, and the humans they want to eat, are front and center in the story.  Juxtaposed images of a white computer room and controlling businesswoman and a dino surrounded by foliage, pit technology against nature. Those who are fans of the franchise know nature always wins.  This image suggests Jurassic World may show that to audiences in a new and exciting way.

Andrea Alvin: This is a strong composition. Dividing the poster into two equal images makes the viewer very conscious of the two competing worlds in the film. I feel like the dino side is still a bit pristine, and could benefit from a more visceral and menacing shot of the beast. For me, it lacks the tension that I believe the designers were trying to allude to.

Bill McCloskey: I agree Andrea, the success here is in the composition of the opposing elements, I would also like to see a bit more “grit” to the dinosaur’s environment.

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6: THE MARTIAN

Whether with traditional illustration or photo images, sometimes using the star power of the film lead is the best way to insure box office success.  No one wants to see Matt Damon trapped forever on Mars.  This simple, dramatic image, coupled with a clever collection of astronaut videos meant to go viral, meant far more fans attended the first weekend of release, thereby leveraging word of mouth for this great film’s ultimate success.

Andrea Alvin: This poster has the feeling of a high quality “Missing person” poster. I like its call to action. It’s a good way to present a poster using the star power of Matt Damon. I might have tried a subtle reflection of the Martian landscape to show his desolation.

Bill McCloskey: I love this poster and this one breaks the mold a bit with its big, superimposed, simple copyline. Usually we try and create a nice clear space in the composition for the placement of the copyline, here it runs right over our star’s face, but the line breaks perfectly between his gaze and his mouth. Having worked with Ridley Scott before he also likes to bury the credits, see if you can find his above title credit.

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5: SHAUN THE SHEEP

Promotion for the Shaun the Sheep movie had to get both longtime fans of the show and potential viewers onboard for their release to make some bleating money.  These riffs on other blockbusters were a clever way to reinforce love from the fans and pique the curiosity of animation aficionados they wished to add to their flock.  From Spectre, and Mission: Impossible to the Fantastic Four and Ant-Man, this campaign shamelessly leveraged other designs, and to great effect!

Andrea Alvin: I love both of these posters. They have treated the animated characters with all the seriousness of an action movie and that makes it funny. This is a campaign aimed at savvy adults. I want to see it.

Bill McCloskey: I agree with both Andrea and Leslie, to bring animation into the mainstream you have to engage the adult audience and both of these posters do it cleverly.

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4: XX

With all the fuss about women in film and the dearth thereof, here is a film with women directors helming four unique stories.  The poster, like the subject of this anthology, is killer! If a graphic poster is used, it’s essential it reads from far away and causes curiosity in the viewer.  The best posters advance knowledge of films that might otherwise stay unknown. This dramatic image does the trick and deserves a big smooch!

Andrea Alvin: This is a really effective poster. It looks like the european campaigns done in the 70’s or 80’s – very artistic. At first viewing, I know its about women and that its scary. It works.

Bill McCloskey: It’s always tough to make a graphic image have a double read and this one is very clever on how it accomplishes meshing both of the images. You also can’t get more striking than red on black.

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3: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

No one in the public saw this movie as the colossus it became, until the posters started hinting at spectacle beyond our imagining.  That’s what a great movie campaign does.  One of the best aspect of this collection of images is they are created by a diversity of agencies, but still maintain a consistent look. The tagline “What a Lovely Day” will live on, as will the memory of this particularly poster, which captures the “High Noon” vibe of one man facing an impossible undertaking. Gratefully, he has Imperator Furiosa to help!

Andrea Alvin: This is a very successful poster. It is difficult to create a poster for a movie that is so full of details and images, without it becoming “ beef stew.” That is a term we used to use when the art was full of details and had no focal point. It is something we see a lot of today in poster design. This poster solves this particular problem beautifully.  The formal composition, with nearly everything stacked in a line down the middle of the page emphasises the concept of one man against the world. The “world,” represented as a beheamoth mass of men and machines emerging from a noxious mix of fire and smoke, is portrayed as one huge form with the many details contained within it.  Our hero, sihlouetted with his back to us shows his potential strength of character. The story and conflict are all here in this image… and it looks good too.

Bill McCloskey: Leslie has hit the nail on the head. The word of mouth that started coming out about this movie established how truly amazing the imagery in this film was going to be. Also evoking our main character’s stand against the masses is always a “go to” theme. As Andrea also mentioned it’s hard to create an “atmospheric” look with out creating a mish mash up of elements. The forced depth of field is what really helps pull that off.

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2: AVENGERS AGE OF ULTRON

How do you keep the head of visual development and his team happy at Marvel? Or any artist, for that matter? You let them sign their work (note the signature).  The special release poster was a wonderful way to excite Avengers fans at SDCC 2014, and in fact was 8 images pieced together, all of which were their own advance posters. All of which were signed by the artists. The creators involved were the head of visual development for Marvel, Ryan Meinerding, and 2 of his concept art cohorts, Andy Park and Charlie Wen. The Eclipse agency added to the momentum by creating both an illustration mimic, and design that reads from far away and close up, like a Where’s Shield version of  Where’s Waldo. Marvel has always respected diverse designs and ideas for promotion, and it shows in their ever-increasing fandom.

Bill McCloskey: Well you can’t forget the fan boys and girls. So limited edition posters are perfect. Comic-Con is known for its giveaways and I’m sure this was a hit. I would have tried to collect them all.

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1: HUNGER GAMES

The secret of success for the Hunger Games Mockingjay part 2 campaign is in part the art photography of Tim Pale.  He is both the chief brand officer and international marketing president at Lionsgate and a talented photographer. Pale has taking photographs of all the major players in the Hunger Games franchise from the beginning, and pursuaded Lionsgate to use the images in the campaigns’ propaganda-based designs.  The result is a collection of gorgeous, compelling images that went viral and reaffirmed the value of artistic presentation in movie posters. The campaign for the last Hunger Games film got even halfhearted fans back into the theaters. It may also influence the look of future movie art.  A campaign can be successful, inventive, artistic, and visually diverse.

Andrea Alvin: The single figure against the clouds is a very successful poster in my opinion. The propoganda posters were a natural fit for this movie because of the political nature of the subject. The heroic photos are gorgeous and the top poster has the feel of a Maxfield Parrish painting as well. 

Bill McCloskey: Over the years, studios have begun to rely on pre-marketing images. In my olden days, the 80s, we sometimes had to beg, borrow and steal for decent photography for John Alvin to illustrate from, but these days it appears special photographic shoots before principal photography is done allows for design firms to create teaser posters that can start to define the product to the public. Sometimes these images won’t tie into the main campaign at the end, but they will still succeed at keeping the word of mouth going.

Andrea: The art of the movie poster is not dead, its just different. There are fewer examples of thoughtful, concept driven and good looking posters, but I don’t think that is the fault of the artists and designers, rather a short sighted view on the part of the studios. The purpose of the poster to brand a movie is the same as it has always been, although it is not being utilized. One great poster can be the movie’s calling card in the theatre or when choosing a movie to watch on a streaming service. Most are lost in a muddle of images that are unforgettable. Thank you Leslie, Cinema Siren, for pointing out some very nice examples of what is being done today in movie marketing.

Bill: Thanks for giving me the opportunity to comment on some of the current standouts in one sheet design. Would I love to see more graphic images and illustrations come back into the marketplace? Who said they’re gone? The hyper real photocomposition on “Star Wars – The Force Awakens” blends the two so well, it’s hard not to look at that campaign as the type of illustrations we used to see from the greats: Alvin, Amsel and Peak!

Thanks to both Andrea and Bill for offering their thoughts, and congratulations to all the agencies and artists who created the chosen images and campaigns.  Here’s hoping there will be some traditionally illustrated posters on the list in 2016, and that the best images continue to inspire and excite those of us who love movies to keep finding our new favorite films!

Happy 2016 from ArtInsights!

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It may well be that Shakespeare wrote that “expectation is the root of all heartache”,  but he also said “all things are ready, if our mind be so”…

Being in small business isn’t for sissies, that’s for sure.  In 2015, some great things happened, (50th anniversary of A Charlie Brown Christmas, I’m looking at you!) and some things we all had to rise above.  We worked far more often and had to be very smart about how to stay in the game, or figure out how to make a game of our own!

Not only have we, as an art gallery, found some wonderful art and created new connections and relationships that will blossom in the new year, I’ve personally expanded beyond the ArtInsights videos to my Cinema Siren youtube channel, and if you haven’t checked it and the cinemasiren.com site out, you should! I’m also writing for the blog Animation Scoop on Indiewire, and will continue to do so with some articles and interviews I can’t wait to do which will promote animation in all forms.  I’m turning my focus more and more on women in film, and you can expect some cool stuff on that front as well!

Looking forward to 2016 at ArtInsights, i’m very excited and full of optimism.  We have some wonderful plans we can’t quite yet announce, but they are big and they are awesome!  We’ve always been very supportive of artists, as well as the sanctity of creative works—promoting the art behind some of the biggest films and cartoons in history, but also promoting the artists who did that work.  We are also wanting to do more with charity connections in a way that actually makes a difference.  Our new endeavors in 2016 are all about that!

We are building to something great, and will love to report back as it takes shape!  Till then, thanks for all your support and loyalty, and your senses of humor in 2015, and your love of art, movies, and animation which, like mine, will only get stronger and more passionate!  Happy 2016 from ArtInsights, and STAY TUNED!

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It’s all up to us, so let’s pick up our hammers and rule 2016 like the Asgard gods and goddesses we are!

Best to all,

Leslie of ArtInsights (aka Cinema Siren)

Star Wars, Disney, Marvel, and DC art Holiday Gift Guide: from ArtInsights!

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We put together some gift guides for fans of all stripes this holiday season.  Well, actually, we just posted what really great sorts of images you can get for your favorite Star Wars, princess, or Marvel, or DC, or Harry Potter fan.  That certain movie coming out this weekend is causing quite a stir with collectors, and we are finding that PARTICULAR gift guide is actually coming quite in handy for them!  So…here is our Star Wars, Disney, Marvel, and DC art Holiday Gift Guide: from ArtInsights!

Honestly, as someone who filled my house with art before I had a stick of furniture and barely enough money to buy said furniture at Ikea, the idea of buying art as a holiday gift seems like the easiest and best idea in the world.  It doesn’t occur to a lot of other people, though, so allow me to make a case for art as a gift.  While it’s true that art is a very personal thing, that’s what makes it so special!  Even if you give a gift certificate, the idea of saying “here’s something that will make your house more welcoming, more uniquely you, that speaks to someone’s inspiration and artistic passion”…what could be better than that?  

And i’ll tell you a story from our own family…this year is the first that my family is doing a “Secret Santa”. When asked (incognito) by my secret Santa what i’d want, I told them.  I talked to an artist and asked her to create an original of a mermaid with red hair and green eyes, while keeping to the price range we all decided on, and my secret Santa is getting it for me!  There’s something beautiful about giving art to someone you love.

SO.  Here are some links to various collections to consider.  Don’t delay, though.  If you’re like me, you’ve waited long enough, and now’s the time.  Contact the gallery if you have concerns about the art arriving in time, or if you need help finding something perfect for your price range and the interests of your love one—it’s a bit daunting trying to pick something out and i’m HAPPY to help!  and, of course….

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Leslie at
ArtInsights

That crazy freight train coming down the track, or coming from a galaxy near you….

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Do you know someone who enjoys being a girl, or a princess in disguise?

disney princess gift guide

This is next year’s Star Wars.  Batman vs. Superman is going to be HUGE!

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Avengers! Civil Wars! Apocalypse! Marvel news is everywhere!

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We all have beasts and know know where to find them, but what about the care of wizards?

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Looking for something inexpensive but special for that burgeoning collector in your world?

Treasures on Canvas

We sell vintage that’s been vetted within an inch of its life–here are some great options for the nostalgic collector you know….

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Happy 25th Anniversary, Reston Town Center!

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“IN CELEBRATION–it’s a NEVER BEFORE AND NEVER AGAIN kind of announcement!”

We are letting our “Business Besties” who read our blog, are fans of us, and keep up with our “goings on” know that we are doing something very special, something we’ve NEVER done before, (and won’t do again!), for the 25th anniversary of Reston Town Center and in conjunction with the day of celebration happening in the center on Sunday, October 18th, from 12:00 to 4:00 pm.

This shopping center was part of the first planned community of its kind in the country, and was all the brainchild of Robert E. Simon.  Bob recently passed away with his usual grace and lots of admirers, at the age of 101, on September 21st. Any of you who knew him know he will be missed!

ArtInsights has been here since the beginning.  Before our lovely wood floor was installed in 11921 Freedom Drive, there was dirt.  DIRT! We saw ten different stores and businesses open and close across the hall in that time, only to finally see them put the management office in the space…as if we needed a reminder that retail isn’t for the faint of heart!!

We are so grateful to the many loyal and supportive clients and friends we’ve had all this time, and we are so proud to say Bob Simon was one of those clients, and a good friend to the store.  Only a few weeks before he passed, I saw him doing his usual walk around the center and said Hi.  He invited me to walk with him and asked me how the store was doing.  (I thought i’d have to remind him who we were.  Instead he brought up the last framing job Michael did for him.)

In honor of our still moving forward, (Huzzah!) still being here, still making new friends, being supported by longtime clients… … and in honor of Robert E. Simon and his lifetime of commitment to bettering the environments around him, we are going to offer 25% off of every single thing that is in our store at Reston Town Center, to anyone who comes into the store between 12 pm and 4 pm on October 18th.

You can be a part of the many other festivities in the center that day as well, which include live music, free refreshments, and pumpkin decorating. It’s going to be a fun day, and we’d love to see you!

so…HAPPY 25th ANNIVERSARY, RESTON TOWN CENTER!! and thank you all for your support!

*the small, or teeny, tiny, but stating the obvious, print:

Only people who come in to the gallery or call about art hanging in the gallery will qualify for the 25% off, and the 25% is only from exactly 12 pm to 4 pm eastern standard time. This is not for use with special orders, commissions, or pieces not yet released. Should shipping be required as part of the sale, costs are whatever is quoted by the shipping company being used.

Call us if you have any questions or are curious if something on our site is actually in our store, that you can call about or visit us to buy on the anniversary.

John Alvin Honored by His High School

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A few days ago, John Alvin was inducted into The Hall of Fame at his high school, Pacific Grove High School.  His sister Suzanne Alvin was there to accept the honor and talk a bit about John Alvin and his career.  She spoke to the kids, thinking about what John would have said, and what advice he’d give to aspiring artists. 

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We at John Alvin Art and ArtInsights asked her to tell us a little about it.  Here’s what she said:

“I only had a few minutes, and had to keep it really short. I told them what I though he might tell them: to not compare themselves to others; to exercise their own creative spirit, find their unique voice.

I finished with something he once told me: One time I was anxious about a situation that was not going well. He said:

“Just be yourself. After all, who else are you going to be?”

John Alvin in ArtInsights with members of the Empire...
John Alvin in ArtInsights with members of the Empire…

He would have loved the whole thing; he would have charmed them, of course, and made them laugh.”

It wasn’t a big deal, but we who knew John’s respect for not only his own art, but for others who struggle to create, as well as his mix of humility and desire to be appreciated, know this little gift would have meant the world to him.  It means, as he was a mentor and inspiration to many artists while he was here, he will continue to be an inspiration in a very real way, to kids who feel the artist inside themselves and need to know, with talent and drive, it IS possible to be successful in whatever kind of art they choose!  

Please join me in congratulating his wife Andrea Alvin, his sister Suzanne Alvin, and his daughter Farah Alvin! More schools should have artists in their Hall of Fame!

To see some art we at ArtInsights have of John Alvin original and limited edition art his estate, CLICK HERE.