Author: Leslie Combemale

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

Screen Shot 2017-01-15 at 5.12.07 PM

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

go-with-the-flow-740x740

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.

kc-green-this-is-fine-art
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.

jimihendrix_jimsalvati_art

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).

Kate-Bush-Art-Outsider-Tennessee-Loveless-ArtInsights

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!

marlene

(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.

goonies-hey-youuu-guys-limited-edition-mark-davies

(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.

ET-Mark-Davies-limited-edition-Ill-be-right-here

(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

divine-abstraction1-borderline

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

new-york-comicon-alex-ross-booth

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

et-poster-john-alvin

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. 

lion-king

leroilion

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. 

john-alvin-cover-342x450

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:

captain-america-34

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!

crisis-limited-edition

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!

thebeatlesliveatthecavern_roncampbell_hires

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

floydpicandart

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.

A

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

HP_Background_Only_Portrait_Key_Art

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!

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 12.21.41 PM

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.

sdcc-logo1

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

women-in-animation-cartoon-creatives
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

Something-about-her-michelle-st-laurent

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!

artinsights_160411#1, 4/12/16, 11:28 AM, 8C, 9000x11391 (0+362), 150%, Repro 2.2 v2, 1/40 s, R52.0, G26.8, B45.9

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.

###

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

religions-05-00219-g005-1024

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

tumblr_mc043vsZXm1rtuhqho1_500

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!)

hunger_games_mockingjay__part_two_ver19

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.

insurgent_ver16

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.

ant_man_ver7

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.

american_ultra_ver5

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.

jurassic_world_ver3

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.

martian-cinema-siren-top-ten-movie-posters

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.

shaun-the-sheep-cinema-siren-top-ten-movie-posters-2015

shaun-the-sheep-cinema-siren-top-ten-movie-posters-2015

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.

xx-movie-poster-top-ten-cinema-siren-2015

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.

mad-max-fury-road-cinema-siren-top-ten-movie-posters-2015

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.

avengers-age-of-ultron-cinema-siren-top-posters-2015

avengers-2-iron-man-ultron

hulk

avengers_age_of_ultron_ver24

avengers_age_of_ultron_ver27-1

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.

hunger_games_mockingjay__part_two_ver20

hunger_games_mockingjay__part_two_ver19

hunger_games_mockingjay__part_two_ver3

hunger_games_mockingjay__part_two_ver24

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!

Happy-New-Year-2016-HD-Wallpapers-8-1024x576

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!

Thor

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!

holiday-gift-guide-disney-star-wars-harry-potter

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….

star wars art

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!

dc comics

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

marvel art

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

harry potter art

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….

Vintage Disney Slider

Happy 25th Anniversary, Reston Town Center!

champagne-anniversary-artinsights

“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…but you’ll have to come in and see what it is…

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.)

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

John Alvin Honored by His High School

pacific-grove-high-school-hall-of-fame-john-alvin-art-artinsights

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. 

suzanne-alvin-at-hall-of-fame-john-alvin

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.

The Mickey Mouse Club Turns 60: Collecting The Mickey Mouse Club cels

mickey-mouse-club-birthday-artinsights-MickeyMouseClub

Happy Birthday! The Mickey Mouse Club turns 60! The series began on October 3rd, 1955!

My own personal experience with the Mickey Mouse Club is with the cels from this series.

As someone who has sold cels from The Mickey Mouse Club since 1988, I’ve had to learn over time about the animated cartoons, characters, and costumes used on the show.  Production cels from The Mickey Mouse Club have their own unusual look to them.  The thick ink lines make cels from the show pretty easy to recognize:  (click on the image if you’re interested in buying the art!)

 

mickey-mouse-club-cel-artinsights

 

Also, most of the cels were sold originally through the Art Corner, a store in Disneyland where they sold original Disney art from 1955 to 1966. This means the cels were cut down to a smaller size, matted, and came with a seal on the back.  A very recognizable seal!

disney-art-corner-seal-artinsights

Many of the cels from The Mickey Mouse Club and indeed most that were sold through the Art Corner are stuck to their backgrounds.  It’s inherent to the era.  If you find a cel that isn’t, it’s probably been completely repainted.

One of my favorite stories from my long history selling animation art is that a friend of mine who is a chemist and also a collector discovered a way to remove the cels from their backgrounds without ripping all the paint off the back.  When he told me he’d actually done it, I felt like he’d made a major discovery.  That’s how Disney geeky I am!  So now when we have cels from that time period lots of them are NOT stuck to the backgrounds because we get them all from this one awesome guy.

My personal history with The Mickey Mouse Club is probably in some ways similar to many, at least those from other parts of the world.  I saw it was coming on (in reruns, of course) in Paris on TV and I begged my parents to let me watch it.

They warned me “It isn’t what you think .. It isn’t mostly cartoons..”

I didn’t care.  And actually there were plenty of animated moments, certainly enough for an 8 year old.  What I didn’t know, because they didn’t play them that way, was that each day of the week was specific to a particular subject.  I learned that later, as an animation gallery owner!

I love, though, that collectors who remember or have a love for The Mickey Mouse Club can get cels of Jiminy Cricket (that also have a thick ink line) and a bunch of other beloved Disney characters for much less than if they had bought them from the original features from which they originate.

Mickey Mouse production cels, original and limited edition art are going to have a resurgence, and soon.  Why? There’s a new Mickey Mouse show, which began in 2013, and to date it’s seen in 160 countries, translated into 34 languages.  The show is making Mickey cool again.  Still, purists will always look back to the early cartoons of the late 1920s, the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, and The Mickey Mouse Club.

Here’s a popular Mickey Mouse Club limited edition by Tim Rogerson (which you can click on if interested in buying!):

mickey-mouse-club-tim-rogerson-artinsights

On this 60th anniversary of their premiere, we owe thanks to a show that made Mickey Mouse himself, his pals, and the live action kids so relatable to children all over the world.

For all the Mickey Mouse art ArtInsights has available, go HERE, and of course for commissions or requests for particular images, contact the gallery!

 

Disney lobby cards: Collecting movie and cartoon history

Ichabod and the Headless Horseman lobby card at ArtInsights
Ichabod and the Headless Horseman lobby card at ArtInsights

When I started selling animation art in 1988, there were only five galleries specializing in original cartoon art IN THE WORLD.  That’s right.  It’s hard for some to imagine when no one knew what a cel was, and when the thought that cartoon art was “kid stuff” was pervasive.  Things have really changed.  Most people know what about animation art, and many see it as a legitimate art form, but along with that the prices for animation art have risen to the point where finding unrestored reasonably priced original art is not that easy to do!

Recently a client/collector friend of mine showed me a collection of Disney lobby cards he had just gotten his hands on.  Most were from the original release dates.  These were smaller images released by the studio used to promote the film in theater lobbies across the country. It occurred to me that my collectors and people I knew who love Disney would be excited about the prospect of having these, what essentially amount to pieces of memorabilia and art mixed together.

Lady and the Tramp original lobby card from 1955 in the gallery
Lady and the Tramp original lobby card from 1955 in the gallery

It isn’t as if lobby cards can’t be counterfeit.  Of course they can be.  The trick is to find someone who knows where they’ve been since removed from the displays at the theater! How wonderful, though, to imagine them a part of the thrill of release in 1946 of Song of the South, or 1950 of Cinderella, or any number of other Disney classics!

Song of the South animated section lobby card at ArtInsights
Song of the South animated section lobby card at ArtInsights

I do love two of the images we got most, and those are the lobby cards created for England.  They are smaller, and they come from a slightly later time (a few years after the initial releases) but check out these British Snow White and Fantasia lobby cards, I especially appreciate that they are based on concept work from the films:

A British Sorcerer's Apprentice lobby card in the gallery
A British Sorcerer’s Apprentice lobby card in the gallery
A British Snow White lobby card in the gallery
A British Snow White lobby card in the gallery

In my own house, I have production art, and movie posters.  Lobby cards are the perfect way to add something small (they are all 11 x 14) and substantial to represent other favorites, or enhance the images in the production cels nearby.  That’s what I did with mine.  Personally I always want my lobby cards to be from the original release, and almost all the ones we have in the gallery are.  You can tell what year they were released by checking the number in the bottom right hand corner, making sure the first number corresponds with the year the movie was released..(like 55 for the Lady and the Tramp lobby cards, and 49 for the Ichabod and Mr. Toad lobby cards, for example)

The title lobby card from Ichabod and Mr. Toad in the gallery
The title lobby card from Ichabod and Mr. Toad in the gallery

Check out all the lobby cards (and the two collections) on our Disney vintage gallery page:

https://www.artinsights.com/production/vintage-disney/

 

 

Sleeping Beauty Production Cels: Why is original art from Sleeping Beauty is so beautiful?

Our new original production cel of Briar Rose
Our new original production cel of Briar Rose

In the course of my career selling animation art and advocating for the value of animation art as a legitimate art form, i’ve discovered collectors of original production art, and even Disney interpretive art, tend to gravitate to movies that are either firsts or lasts.  Sometimes they are aware of the history, and sometimes they are responding to something they feel or see, not knowing the technical or historical reasons.  

For example, there are lots of Snow White lovers, not only because it is the first full length feature for Walt Disney Studios in 1937.  Few dispute that it is a masterpiece of invention based on a great old story, that is very important to the history of film.  

Our new original production drawing of Snow White
Our new original production drawing of Snow White

The fact that it is the first for Disney feature animation, though, means at the time there was a huge amount of experimentation and innovation. Character design made leaps forward, so that meant the villain, the Queen and her disguise, the witch, the dwarfs, the animals, and Snow White herself were full of little design elements that made the cels used to animate them fun to look at.  The way the outlines of the characters on the cels were hand-inked, and the airbrush used to enhance the look of movement or “alive quality”, inadvertently made the production cels beautiful pieces of art.  Of course Walt figured that out and sold them as art at the movie’s premiere.  

At the Snow White premiere, picture courtesy of Davelandweb.com
At the Snow White premiere, picture courtesy of Davelandweb.com

Although not the masterpiece Snow White is as a film, 1959’s Sleeping Beauty also has a slew of collectors and fans, and deservedly so.  It is the last hand-inked feature film in Disney’s history.  For that reason, the studio both went all out in their use of ink colors and enhancements, and experimented with the new technique of xerography they hoped to use in their next feature, 101 Dalmatians being released in 1960.  For those of you who don’t know, xerography copies the original drawing onto the cel with a machine, making hand-inking the outline of the characters unnecessary.  This took far less time, but also, they argued at the time, assured the integrity of the artists’ finished drawings, because they would be transferred exactly as they were drawn, onto the cel.  

A model sheet of Briar Rose
A model sheet of Briar Rose
Briar Rose and her fabulous hair, hand-inked by the Ink and Paint Department at Disney
Briar Rose and her fabulous hair, hand-inked by the Ink and Paint Department at Disney

Here’s the thing:  Hand-inking, on animation cels, is just lovely.  What I tell people who are wondering through ArtInsights for the first time curious to learn a little about production art, if you stand back and look at two cels, one with hand-inking, and the other with xerographic line, the hand-inked cel pops right off the wall.  You can see the character so much better!  The character’s outline being so clearly defined, and often in a variety of colors, adds dimension to the character itself.  The problem of course, is that if you love 101 Dalmatians, you have to embrace the first that was using xerography to outline all the characters in the movie.  To be fair, it has its own retro charm.  However, one of the reasons collectors of Sleeping Beauty are so committed to that film is because the hand-inking points to the end of an era, and as such goes out in a blaze of glory, and the cels are flamboyantly hand-inked to the point of artistry. I think the character designers and inker painters knew it would be the last time they would make such a strong mark on an animated feature, and they just put all their heart and soul into the art.

Sleeping Beauty fans love the film for lots of reasons. The voice talent is extraordinary.  Mary Costa as Princess Aurora was wonderful casting, because she could bring her background as an opera star to the experience.  Vera Felton, at this point a Disney veteran, having been tapped for the fairy godmother in Cinderella and the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland, among others, voiced Flora. Radio voice star Eleanor Audley had voiced Lady Tremaine in Cinderella, and absolutely rocked it as Maleficent.  That character is beloved not just for her design, but certainly for the way she was voiced!  

The voice of Briar Rose, Mary Costa
The voice of Briar Rose, Mary Costa

The animation artists involved in Sleeping Beauty point to a particularly fruitful time at the studio. The character animation is some of the best in Disney history. Marc Davis animated both Princess Aurora and Maleficent, Milt Kahl worked on Prince Philip, Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston handed Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather, and Wolfgang Reitherman worked on the dragon.  For those of you who know these names, that’s a lot of Disney genius in one place.  Eyvind Earle, Sleeping Beauty’s art director, was known as a masterful background stylist, and invented much of the look of the movie’s backgrounds, especially the ubiquitous mid-century modern trees, modeled after those that surrounded him living in California.  

A Sleeping Beauty background by Eyvind Earle
A Sleeping Beauty background by Eyvind Earle

Though Sleeping Beauty didn’t succeed at first at the box office, it has since gone on to be seen as one of Disney’s best.  Not that animation collectors who search avidly for good production cels from the film care about such things…they can’t be convinced by nay-sayers because the cels themselves are just so gorgeous.  

A Disneyland art corner original production cel of Prince Phillip and Samson we just got at the gallery.
A Disneyland art corner original production cel of Prince Phillip and Samson we just got at the gallery.

That brings us to a cel I just got in ArtInsights (you can click on the top pic to go to the page in the gallery site) One of the scenes collectors look for as part of their Sleeping Beauty animation art collection is a great cel of Briar Rose in the forest.  Obviously collectors look for essential moments that represent the key scenes moving the story forward, and Briar Rose wandering through the landscape, singing to her mock prince, and meeting Prince Philip, definitely qualifies!  I see lots of Briar Rose cels.  There is a crazy variance in price, according to little things and big things like

Are her eyes open?  Does she have her basket?  Can you see the curls in her hair? (hand-inking at its best!!) Is she full figure but you can see her face well and she has a good expression?  Are there animals present? Is she dancing?  Is she dancing with the prince? (unlike the end of the movie, that would be comprised of, in this scene, two cels, not one with both of them on it like the ‘dance among the clouds’) has the art been restored? (I try not to sell restored art) is it in a hand prepared background? Is it a full cel or is it an art corner piece?

The Sleeping Beauty production cel we have right now has a hand-prepared background on it.  Created by an artist who has worked at Disney, this artist captured the essence of Eyvind Earle’s style.  So much so, that i’ve been afraid about making sure the provenance stays intact and should the art ever leave the hands of whoever I sell it to, it is clearly indicated that this is NOT from 1959. It helps that this artist created the background on archival mat board and it has a repeated stamp all over the back CRESCENT, CRESCENT, CRESCENT! (the company that makes those mats) The cel is unrestored, and yes, you can see her hair.  For my part, Briar Rose cels are some of my favorite production cels because of her hair.  Realize, now, that her hand-inked hair is done 24 cels per second through the entire movie.  THAT’S CRAZY!  No wonder they switched to xerography!

One of my favorite parts of my job being a gallery owner is finding original cels that truly capture the spirit of a character.  Knowing that production cels were photographed and used the create the film, a film that has been seen by many millions of people, just brings me such joy.  It’s like animation history, and indeed art history, in your hands, or on your walls.  It also brings me joy knowing there are like-minded people out there who also love animation art.  Being in the industry since 1988, I saw a time when few knew what the heck it even was!  I still have people who come in and think it’s all kid stuff, but I hope with blogs like these I can change a few minds, or reaffirm the love of cartoons and animation art in a few collectors, and even more Disney lovers!

For ArtInsights, i’m Leslie Combemale.

These are just thoughts and musings of a gallery owner and lover or art and animation.  There are lots of books that will go far more in-depth about the history of animation and Disney.  Please feel free to ask questions below or email the gallery if you are looking for Sleeping Beauty art or animation film art of any kind!

Further reading on Sleeping Beauty production cels, Sleeping Beauty the feature film, and the history of Disney animation:

Sleeping Beauty Platinum dvd (commentary and extra info)

http://www.amazon.com/Sleeping-Beauty-Two-Disc-Platinum-Costa/dp/B0013ND30M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1442971121&sr=8-1&keywords=sleeping+beauty+platinum

An article on Ink and Paint:

http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2010/03/disney-animation-girls-201003

Also, stay tuned for an upcoming book by Mindy Johnson called Ink and Paint: The Women of Disney’s Animation Department!

Once Upon A Time: Sleeping Beauty History

http://www.amazon.com/Once-Upon-Dream-Perraults-Maleficent/dp/1423199022/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1442971371&sr=8-1&keywords=sleeping+beauty+disney+history

Before Ever After: Animation Lectures

http://www.amazon.com/Before-Ever-After-Lectures-Animation/dp/1484710819/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1442971425&sr=8-2&keywords=disney+history

Demystifying Disney History

http://www.amazon.com/Demystifying-Disney-History-Feature-Animation/dp/1623567440/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1442971539&sr=8-2&keywords=history+of+disney+animation

Disney’s Illusions of Life

http://www.amazon.com/Illusion-Life-Disney-Animation/dp/0786860707/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1442971563&sr=8-4&keywords=history+of+disney+animation

Layouts and Backgrounds from the Disney archives

http://www.amazon.com/Layout-Background-Disney-Animation-Archives/dp/142313866X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1442971563&sr=8-1&keywords=history+of+disney+animation

The Encyclopedia of Walt Disney Animated Characters

http://www.amazon.com/Encyclopedia-Walt-Disneys-Animated-Characters/dp/0786863366/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1442971881&sr=8-9&keywords=disney+character+animation

ArtInsights at the AFI for Bugs Bunny Anniversary

boxoffice

Chuck Jones - Concept Art - Bugs Bunny

ArtInsights at the AFI for Bugs Bunny Anniversary!

The AFI Silver Theater is showing some great cartoons in honor of Bugs Bunny’s 75th birthday, which happened July 27th, (those carrots are great at keeping a rabbit looking youthful!) and ArtInsights will be there!

Leslie Combemale, intrepid ArtInsights co-owner and lover of all things Looney Tunes, will be doing a short pre-screening lecture on August 8th and 9th at 11:30 am.  Tickets are $5, and there are some great cartoons showing!

As you all know, Leslie works at educating and advocating for acceptance of animation as an important art form, and many of the artists who created cartoons as fine artists worthy of the highest acclaim.  Come hear a few bits of information you may not know about your favorite Looney Tunes artists and cartoons, and help celebrate superstar Bugs Bunny in 35 mm on the big screen!

Click the dates for a link to purchase tickets and more information:

SATURDAY:

BILL OF HARE (1962); RABBIT FIRE (1951); ALI BABA BUNNY (1957); BEANSTALK BUNNY (1955); BUGS BUNNY RIDES AGAIN (1948); KNIGHTS MUST FALL (1949).

SUNDAY:

WHAT’S UP DOC? (1950); LONG-HAIRED HARE (1949); SHOW BIZ BUGS (1957); KNIGHTY KNIGHT BUGS (1958); WATER, WATER EVERY HARE (1952); WHAT’S OPERA, DOC? (1957)

HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!

DISNEY AND LOONEY TUNES SDCC PANELS!

ArtInsights at Comic-Con International San Diego

That’s right!  We have DISNEY AND LOONEY TUNES SDCC PANELS!  Created, hosted, and moderated by the folks at ArtInsights.  We are very excited.  In fact we are SO excited and interested in a having a great panel that we went out to LA and interviewed a few folks about their careers so we could be prepared.

First, let’s announce when and what, now that SDCC officially released the dates and times:

LOONEY TUNES LEGACY: LINDA JONES AND RUTH CLAMPETT ON THE LIFE AND ART OF ANIMATION

Chuck Jones and Bob Clampett are two of the most important animators in cartoon history. Their daughters, Linda Jones (Emmy Award-winning producer, founder of Linda Jones Enterprises) and Ruth Clampett (founder of Clampett Studio Collections, former head of Warner Brothers art program) keep their dads’ legacies alive. These powerful Hollywood businesswomen also made collecting the art of animation and film accepted and embraced around the world and own all rights to sell official Warner Brothers cartoon art, Vintage WB movie art, DC comics art, and the art of Harry Potter. They’ll talk about growing up with two geniuses and how they built empires of their own making geek art cool. Moderated by Leslie Combemale (ArtInsights Animation and Film Art Gallery).

 Thursday July 9, 2015 2:30pm – 3:30pm
Room 24ABC

For a link to the info on the SDCC website, GO HERE!

DISNEY ANIMATORS: THE POWER OF 2D

A luminary panel of former and current Disney animators spanning from Lady and the Tramp to Moana talk about the importance of 2D animation in the history of Disney, as well as the part it plays in guiding advancement of its future. Panelists are Willie Ito (Lady and the Tramp, Inkpot Award-winning animator), Dale Baer (Robin Hood to Moana), Randy Haycock (The Lion King to Moana), Tom Sito (The Little Mermaid, author of Moving Innovation), and Mike Polvani (Hercules, 2D Animation School founder). Changes in technology, artistic expression, and the value of cooperative interplay between 2D and 3D artists to create the best animation will be discussed. There will be a Q&A moderated by Leslie Combemale (Animation expert, ArtInsights Gallery).

Friday July 10, 2015 1:30pm – 2:30pm
Room 24ABC

For a link to the info on the SDCC website, GO HERE

We are so very pleased to have such heavy hitters on both panels.  Ruth Clampett and Linda Jones represent two of the most genial yet powerful women in making animation and film art by production artists, those who made the movies and cartoons we love a reality and a part of history.  Any woman who wants to be inspired in their own life about making what they want to do in the world happen with integrity and positivity will want to attend, OR, watch the video we will create of this and our other panel.

Willie Ito won the Inkpot award last year (you can watch him accept it at our panel HERE) and he will be carrying the old guard for our 2D animation panel, which is not about 2D vs 3D, it’s about the importance of 2D in the future of animation.  We also have someone who wrote a wonderful book about the history of computer graphics, Tom Sito, two of the four remaining animators in Walt Disney Feature Animation, Dale Baer and Randy Haycock, and a former Disney animator who just started a 2D animation school, Mike Polvani.  It is going to be a very educational and inspiring talk with the folks who have had a hand in creating the characters and films we love.

Disney animator Dale Baer, who other artists repeated say is one of the best animation artists in the world, and Leslie Combemale, at the 50th Anniversary Celebration for A Charlie Brown Christmas Special:

dale baer and leslie combemale

As I said, we will LOVE to see you there, but if you weren’t lucky enough to get a ticket, we will be recording the panels so fans around the world can see them on our YouTube channel.

We at ArtInsights are dedicated not only to getting you great art but also to teaching kids, fans, and collectors about all things film and animation, but directly from the mouths of those who created the movies we all love!

Wish us great luck at SDCC and we will be reporting from there, and when we get back!

Leslie for ArtInsights

Peanuts Art! The 50th Anniversary Celebration for A Charlie Brown Christmas means a once-in-a-lifetime art release!

CHARLIE BROWN, SNOOPY, & PEANUTS EXTRAVANGANZA!

invitation to Peanuts celebration of 50th anniversary of Charlie Brown Christmas special

My invitation to the big event!

PEANUTS ART!

I’m so incredibly excited that the 50th anniversary of the Charlie Brown Christmas Special, which is being celebrated next week in LA, means that I get to go to LA and interview animators AND get first access to special art being pulled specially for the event.

That’s right.  I am the FIRST gallery that gets to go in and choose art for my clients from what they’ve pulled from the archives for this event.  How did that happen?  I guess the Snoopy Puppy angels smiled on me.  In any case, any of you folks– pals and clients of mine –who love Peanuts and remember the wonderful specials fondly interested in getting something rare and unusual, please contact me in the next few days!

images-1

peanuts1970s1-03

maxresdefault

0

A few great images from the cartoons…

I’ll be sending images and selecting art for all my clients on Tuesday June 23nd starting at 12:00 pm E.S.T, and can add you to the list of collectors to connect with that day.

What will be available?  The rarest art is the key set-ups, which means the original art and backgrounds that belong together, from the specials many will recognize.  There won’t be Christmas special pieces, but yes, there will be art from the late 1960s and some from one of my favorites, “Snoopy Come Home”.  There will also be some spectacular layout and finished drawings.  All I know is they’ve never done this before, so without a doubt they will be bringing out “the special stuff”.  Generally the prices for these originals are between $500 and $5000 depending on what it is, how old it is, and how many characters are in it.

Also, the second of the limited editions being released based on A Charlie Brown Christmas is being released on Thursday at the celebration.  None of us know what it looks like, but at only 65 in the edition, and the desire to represent the best scenes from the special, i’m sure it will be wonderful!   There also may be some very sold out limited editions made available—who knows?!

Snoopys Audition Cel

One of the three pieces released as part of the Charlie Brown Christmas Special 50th Anniversary

I’m going to be doing some interviewing the studio insiders and animators about the historical scoop and personal  experience behind these great animated favorites, and i’ll post on YouTube when i’m back.

Of course with the new Peanuts movie coming out, this is a perfect time to pick up some art, before a ton of new fans are made around the world, and a few old ones get reminded of how great these characters really are!  (many of you know my story of the one piece of art I regret not getting was a Linus cel i’ve never seen anything like again..let’s not go through that again!)

I’m in a unique position here to actually get all the very best images available for people I am representing, so HAIL TO ALL PEANUTS FANS! Let’s get some awesome art!!

MV5BMTI2MTIxMjUzN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODEwNTgxMQ@@._V1_

MV5BMTIyMjQ3NjgxM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjgzOTMzMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR3,0,214,317_AL_

imgres

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 12.28.40 PM

(Just a few of my favorite Charlie Brown specials!)

Naked Little Mermaid? 15K paid. Animation art goes crazy again.

I don’t so much hate saying “I told you so”, as quietly revel in the thought of saying it, especially when it comes to the value and popularity of film and animation art.

Remember I was there when no one knew what a cel was, some 30 years ago.  I worked in one of the first five galleries in the world specializing in animation art.  Back then we would routinely hear from casual shoppers, “do you have any real art?” or “is there a fine art gallery in the center?”, and I still field those questions from time to time today.  Of course I feel vindicated that animation art, Disney interpretive art, and film art has become a huge collectible with which most people are familiar.

But the times when I have targeted a particular scene, movie, or character, knowing it would at some point become prohibitively expensive…the times i’ve come perilously close to “hard sell”, because some of my loyal collectors would not be able to afford whatever it was in a few years, when i’m right about THOSE times, that’s when I really think I might be pretty valuable to collectors in those fields.

It isn’t as easy as it sounds.  You’d think with every release of a live action version of a Disney film, the production cels from the original would explode in price, but that isn’t often the case.   You’d also think an artist dying would have immediate impact on value, but that is also only sometimes true.  Often it takes a few years for the art to raise consistently in price.

There have been a few “wins” I can point to, in terms of prognosticating.

For example, when heavyweight Snow White collector Steve Ison sold back a huge percentage of his art to Disney right around the same time they had a show of Snow White and vintage Disney art in Paris and Montreal in which they showed the connection between animation art and fine art, I knew Snow White would become highly collectible in France and the US.   He was also someone who tried to focus on collecting only unrestored art, and i’ve contended that will become a major concern for discerning collectors when in search of vintage art.

ArtInsights Blog: Il Etait Une Fois Disney exhibit

A TEENY portion of Steve Ison’s collection:Steve Ison Collection of Snow White art

I also knew about how popular interpretive art by Disney art director Toby Bluth was going to be to production art collectors, and sure enough, he was the one interpretive artist they all collected.  Sadly he’s since passed away, and i’m so glad I pushed a lot of my clients to buy his work.  None of them ever want to sell it back and his are often the favorite pieces in their collections.

But the most recent moment that puffed me up like the animation and film art equivalent of a parading peacock is the insane rise in value of cels from The Little Mermaid.  A few years ago when Disney was hurting for quarterly numbers, and they were looking for cash from any corner, they allowed the release of original production cels from The Little Mermaid to the public through galleries.  They were selling them for a fraction of what they had been.  I literally bought 90% of what they were offering.  They even had a few of Ariel on the rock.

…NO I DON’T HAVE ANY MORE! 😉

Since then, the frenzy for cels of Ariel has continued unabated.  Those who had been expecting to get art from the film for $800 to $2000 often declined purchases, and now, boy are they sorry.  Good cels with official seals from the film are now going for between $3500 and $8000, if they even go on the market.

Cut to Heritage Auctions, and a piece of art from the scene I remember telling ALL my clients they absolutely had to get cels from if they were building a collection representing the whole movie.  Namely, “Naked Ariel”.  I speak of this:

The Little Mermaid 15k auction sale of naked Ariel

This is the scene when Ariel has just become a human, and has gotten legs.  It isn’t about the fact that she is supposedly around 16 years old.  There are certainly creepy collectors who are into that, but mine aren’t like that.  It’s about the fact that you just don’t see naked animated characters in Disney*. 

*The only other naked Disney character is the Harpie from Fantasia, as far as I know:

(you can look them up, but this is a close up of her face)

Night on Bald Mountain Harpy

She isn’t supposed to be in the altogether.  She is under the water, which is not shown in the film.  She has registration marks for where the camera frames her.  However, the original drawings of Ariel show her entire body.

The first time I saw a cel like that in 1990, I knew they’d be in high demand, but last month a piece like that went for around $17,000 in the aforementioned auction.  I am pretty sure I sold that piece originally, and for $2500.  I’m not saying that’s the norm, or it wasn’t someone digging in, determined to wind up with the piece regardless of its cost, but that “figure” means at least two collectors were willing to duke it out all the way up to a 15k hammer price.

Auctions these days, when it comes to animation, make me completely crazy.  Backgrounds they say are from the film that aren’t, cels they say aren’t restored, or completely repainted, that are, and a host of other confusingly misrepresented or mis-labeled art makes auctions a strictly “buyer beware” kind of affair.  A lot of long time collectors are well aware of that.

I have a feeling that is why when a cel from The Little Mermaid with a seal shows up, essentially verifying its authenticity and provenance, collectors come from all over the place to try to make it theirs.

When will the escalating prices settle down? It’s very hard to tell.  Anyway, generally these days I save my prognosticating for frequent clients, so that I can level the playing field I share with all these auction houses.

Something has to give a gal the edge.  Being right only helps so much when you’ve already sold all you had.

At least I know about 15 people with what I call “Skinny-dipping Ariel”, and that’s most of the ones out there.

Glad I talked them all into it.  Not that they’ll sell them, but knowing they do makes my big green feathers just a little fluffier.

Star Wars art-Are these the artists you’re looking for? Official artists vs. Fan artists

CONCERT POSTER john alvin

(art by John Alvin, who did movie poster art for Star Wars)

We’ve been in the thick of the Star Wars art world for quite some time…and that world is pretty convoluted.  Here’s how it works

  • There are artists who worked on the movies and are official artists with the Star Wars art licensee:

Those people have art they sell through the official LucasFilm licensee, but up until a few months ago, even when ordering a commission George Lucas got right of first refusal to buy the art.  This became quite a drag when collectors and artists worked together and George took it.  Yes it’s an honor, but still.  Now those rules are changing, largely because George has largely gotten himself out of Star Wars.  We always got the first chance to sell art George said no to if the art was made to create a limited edition.  There have been more pieces available in the last few months, which is great for collectors!

FETTS PRIZE william silvers

(art by Bill Silvers, who did backgrounds for Star Wars)

  • There are artists who worked on the movies or campaigns that weren’t “work for hire”:

When an artist is a “work for hire” it means nothing created can be sold and belongs solely to LucasFilm.  There are some older artists who don’t have that contract but they are extremely rare.  John Alvin is one of those guys, and that’s why we have his work from Star Wars and can sell it.  It is official art but also he was able to keep it as part of his deal with the studio when he worked for them.   Great for collectors as well, but the art is getting harder and harder to find, since like John so many artists are passing away, and so few new artists work outside the “work for hire” clause.

We only sell artists in these two categories.

 

  • There are artists who are contracted to occasional work for LucasFilm:

Mostly these are the folks who sell their art at the Celebration shows.  They may or may not be work for hire, (most are) but LucasFilm doesn’t seem to mind them selling their art directly to collectors.  This is where the laws about original art vs. limited editions gets weird.  While it’s true that any artwork that is transformative can be sold as long as it’s original and there aren’t any prints of them, some of the studios believe any art of any kind created using their images shouldn’t be sold without a licensing fee.   This is why we don’t really sell those artists and we love supporting when they go to events like Celebration and are able to sell their work.  Much of the work is from books, comics, or trading cards.  We love these artists.  They work hard and tend to create in a variety of genres, in addition to creating art for their own characters, worlds, and stories.

  • There are fan artists:

You know these folks.  They are on Etsy printing up $30 prints of their work, making it tough on the artists that actually work for LucasFilm.  No one begrudges them making originals, even though even that would be frowned upon by LucasFilm.  Imagine being at a Con and seeing 3 artists in artists’ alley doing original work with their own ideas and collectors skipping them for the fan artists who are churning out prints of Star Wars characters.  We can’t really blame the collectors here, they have no idea about the rules.  Here we should blame LucasFilm for not policing images.  When so many artists applied for Star Wars Celebration (the artists for which must have officially worked for LucasFilm at some point) and killed themselves making new art, paying to go to the event, etc., LucasFilm should be more tenacious about limiting access online to only those who meet their criteria.  Only artists who create official art should be allowed to sell prints, AFTER those prints have been approved by the studio.   Yes it’s political, but welcome to the art world 🙂

Understand I have great love of fan artists and their expression, but they do know the rules and should follow them out of respect for the property and the artists that inspire them.

SO WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHEN THE NEW MOVIE COMES OUT??

We don’t really know the answer to that question yet.

In general, fan art vs. official art is a constant source of angst for me.  I love the joyful expression of someone’s love for a fandom, but not the mixing and confusing of those artists for those who worked on the films or properties being represented.  Why should anyone promote official art or pay a licensing fee if no one is policing people making prints and selling them on Etsy or Ebay?  All this comes from a desire to make sure people who are making the movies we watch beautiful get the credit they deserve.  They, in essence, are the reason the fan artists love the movies enough to create art.

Things are always changing.  So hopefully there will be room for all the artists, all those who design and build the cinematic worlds we cherish, and those who get chances to add to those worlds, and those who just want to express their love of them.  Will the new Star Wars be a part of that change?

Only time will tell.  Let’s hope the force is with the official artists on this one.

 

Disney Fine Art and Film Art Update: New in 2014, New in 2015

Arendelle in Winter 18x36

(David Womersley’s “Arendelle in Winter”)

We hope your holidays were wonderful and that you are on your way to big things in 2015!  We at ArtInsights certainly are..

This last year has seen some great art and great film releases, and some awesome directions for our favorite artists.

Of course the first artist I’d mention is John Alvin, although of course since he passed away in 2008 it isn’t coming from John himself.  But 2014 saw the release by Andrea Alvin, his partner and wife, of the book The Art of John Alvin, which got universally great reviews and made a fair number of best art books of 2014 lists.  We loved seeing it at the top of Amazon UK, and all the press not only the book got, but John’s art as well.  It seemed like every image he ever did for Jurassic Park crossed the internet!

Andrea Alvin also started breaking out on her own accord as an artist.  She had been working with John all these ye
ars, and was an integral part to the creation of many well known posters of the 1980s and 90s, including the Batman advance and the Cape Fear posters.  Most recently, however, she has been working with Disney and Warner Brothers creating official art for The Wizard of Oz anniversary and Looney Tunes, as well as images for Pixar and classic Disney characters.

We love our collaboration with Tennessee Loveless, who is nearly done with his Ten x Ten x Ten series, which is getting more and more interesting while it maintains his edgy, of-the-moment pop aesthetic.  You can see many explanations of the creations in the series HERE.  Look for some new exciting work we’ll be doing with him in 2015!  There is no question his star continues to be on the rise, and there’s no telling just how far high he’ll go.  If you like his work, now is the time to get connected to his fascinating world—one we love being a part of and believe you would too!

Having Michelle St. Laurent was an absolute pleasure at the gallery this December.  We still have several of her originals and they never cease to impress.  So many layers, and so much integration of pop and traditional watercolor styles with illustration and animation—Toby Bluth would have loved it!  We learned Michelle was at the beginning of vinyl-mation, pin-trading, and ‘make your own ear hat” at Disney, and was behind a host of amazing environments at the parks.  How wonderful to see a woman rise so high as an official artist in the studio!

We haven’t had a chance to work with him yet, but very excited about the production designer from Disney’s Frozen, David Womersley, has become an official interpretive Disney fine artist!  This is very cool for those who love collecting artists working inside the studios actually shaping their favorite movies…and it’s a BIG deal!  I can’t wait to find people who will want to do a commission with him!   His first limited edition is based on two concept pieces he created to show the grandeur of the Norwegian landscape, and those pieces were instrumental in the finished design for the film.

We look forward to interviewing him to let fans and collectors get to know him better!

Treasures-on-Canvas-Landing-Page_01

The best news for fans of Disney art with a limited budget is the new collection called “Treasures on Canvas”.  It offers a variety of images that are also available in smaller editions that are hand embellished, in a larger edition size of 1500, gallery wrapped, and with a certificate of authenticity, all for only $125 each.  What makes this so wonderful is when we first started representing animation art some 30 years ago, everyone could afford it.  This collection makes it so again.  We have actually sold several to young kids who bring us money every week, and it means they can collect their first piece of art.  What a joy that has been!  It is also true that the artists in the collection getting a wider audience, and as many of them are close friends I love, this too makes me happy!

As to 2015, we look forward to some great changes and new offerings, which we can’t wait to announce.  We have some new artists we know are set to skyrocket into the limelight, as well as properties we know our collectors are wanting to be released officially we are championing on their behalf.  And in reference to that, if you are interested in a film having official art released, let us know and we’ll see what we can do!

Trust us, we have your interests, and the success of film artists who should have greater notoriety for their work, in mind.  Traditional illustration and concept work deserves recognition, and we as a gallery advocate as much as possible.

Here’s to 2015 expanding awareness of film art to the fine art collectors of the world, expanding acceptance of concept artists little known outside the studios, and expanding our collector base by our work in education and celebration of the art!

Happy New Year!

Leslie and Michael

ArtInsights

Press Release: Michelle St. Laurent at ArtInsights Gallery

537O0159P The Sorcerer's Spell 12X24

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MICHELLE ST. LAURENT- TOP FEMALE OFFICIAL DISNEY ARTIST, APPEARING AT ARTINSIGHTS ANIMATION & FILM ART GALLERY OPENING OF HER ONE-WOMAN SHOW “THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISNEY WATERCOLOR”

Saturday, December 6   2 pm – 6 pm

Reston, Va.,  Dec.3rd, 2014 – Michelle St. Laurent will be appearing on Saturday, December 6 from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. at ArtInsights Animation & Film Art Gallery in Reston Town Center to paint in person and meet fans and collectors at the opening of the gallery show “The Wonderful World of Disney Animation”.  The exhibit of her original and limited edition art from classic and contemporary Disney films will be on display through January 5, 2015 at ArtInsights, 11921 Freedom Drive, Reston, VA 20190.

St Laurent has become the top selling and most popular female Disney artist in the public eye, but her work is represented all over the world through her work behind the scenes as well.   As a Disney art director, production designer, and product developer, she can claim many firsts, including being part of the team that started and designed the pin trading and Vinyl-mation programs at the Disney parks.  She also designed the “My Disney Girl” doll and the “Create Your Own” ear hat, and was production designer for all park events, which often included designing and implementing temporary themed environments with budgets in the millions of dollars.  She has had the honor of being selected to create postage stamps for Disney, has worked on many projects for both Disney World and Disneyland, and is represented in many official Disney gallery shows.

537O0162P Underwater Adventure 18X24

“What makes Michelle St. Laurent so successful is how she mixes traditional and pop art aesthetics in watercolors for her gallery works while at the same time becoming the go-to gal for official art used in projects inside the studio,” says ArtInsights owner Leslie Combemale.  “Few artists can find that balance, and Michelle does that perfectly.”

Watercolor images by St. Laurent from Sleeping Beauty, Pinocchio, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, and Alice in Wonderland, among others, will be on exhibit and she will be talking about her inspiration and process with collectors at the opening on Saturday.  “I aspire to recreating classic Disney magic in my paintings, which allows each of us to be a kid again,” says Laurent. “This is an especially wonderful time of the year for that, so I love sharing my work and celebrating the holidays meeting collectors and Disney fans!”

537O0156P Loyal Pet 15X30

Michelle St. Laurent has fulfilled a lifelong dream of being a Disney artist, after creating a poster of Disney characters on parade for a contest in first grade.  Pre-Disney, she worked to create art for Sea World in Orlando, and her murals can be seen throughout the park.  Some 15 years ago she was hired by the Disney Design Group where she created a wide variety of art images for Disney Theme Parks and special projects. She trained, worked and was inspired by Disney legend Ralph Kent for the first 6 years. Michelle began painting for the Disney Galleries in 1998, and started creating both Disney fine art and official art as an art director for the company.  Michelle’s fine art is featured throughout Disney World and Disneyland, Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival, at the exclusive Magic Kingdom’s 999 Happy Haunts Event, Disneyana Conventions, and galleries around the world.

About ArtInsights Animation & 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 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 John Alvin, Casey Robin, and Ben Curtis Jones, and also exhibits Tim Rogerson, Jim Salvati, Mike Kungl, and Chuck Jones. 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, Harry Potter, and Star Trek. See and learn more on the website and on the web magazine, and hear movie reviews by owner Leslie Combemale’s alter ego, Cinema Siren, published on more than 600 Patch sites nationwide, and on  www.artinsightsmagazine.com.

ArtInsights Animation and Film Art Gallery is located at 11921 Freedom Drive, Reston, VA 20190. For more information, call 703-478-0778 and visit  www.ArtInsights.com.

# # #

For more information, high-res images or to schedule an interview with artist Michelle St. Laurent and animation and film art expert and gallery owner Leslie Combemale, contact her at  artinsights@gmail.com  or call her in the gallery at 703-478-0778.

ArtInsights Holiday Gift Guide: The Wonderful World of Disney Film Art

TOP SELLING OFFICIAL DISNEY LIMITED EDITIONS ~ THE PERFECT GIFT FOR EVERY DISNEY FAN

 

 

Disney fans have been collecting and loving art since 1937, and now we can all get the best images from artists working in the studio actually making the movies!  Here are the most popular and fastest selling images in a variety of price ranges that ArtInsights loves and recommends…

 

First, here is a great assortment of images released in special editions of 1500, not hand signed but gallery wrapped with a certificate of authenticity for either $125 or $150 that make a great impression as a gift!  Click on the picture to see all the options:

Treasures-on-Canvas-Landing-Page_01

 

There are a number of releases in small edition sizes that are hand embellished (paint is added to enhance the image) and hand signed by the artist.  Here are some wonderful ones, and you can click on the artist’s name to see all their art.

IMPRESSIONISTIC WONDER-FILLED LANDSCAPES

The Adventure of Life by Rodel Gonzales: Embellished Giclee on Canvas for $595

The Adventure of Life - Premiere

 

Hakuna Matata by Rodel Gonzales: Embellished Giclee on Canvas for $650

RGGC002 Hakuna Matata 15x30

 

The Duel by James Coleman: Embellished Giclee on Canvas for $995

The Duel

 

Pooh’s Garden Party by Harrison Ellenshaw: Embellished Giclee on Canvas $950

Pooh's Garden Party

 

CAPTURING THE BEAUTY OF CHARACTER IN PORTRAITS:

At Odds With the Sea by Lisa Keene: Embellished Giclee on Canvas for $450

At Odds With the Sea

 

Brave Merida by Jim Salvati: Embellished Giclee on Canvas for $450

Brave Merida

 

Ohana Means Family by Heather Theurer: Embellished Giclee on Canvas for $395

Ohana Means Family

Father and Son by Michelle St. Laurent: Hand Textured Giclee on Canvas for $550

Father and Son

THESE ARTISTS MAKE DISNEY GO POP!

Fantasia by Tim Rogerson: Embellished Giclee on Canvas for $595

Fantasia by Tim Rogerson

59 Maleficent by Mike Kungl: Hand Textured Giclee on Canvas for $595

59 Maleficent

Friendly Hero by Trevor Carlton: Hand Textured Giclee on Canvas for $495

Friendly Hero by Trevor Carlton

Ce N’est Pas Un Chapeau by Tennessee Loveless: Giclee on Canvas for $195

Ce N'est Pas un Chapeau

SO MUCH GREAT ART!  So much to choose from, there’s something for everyone! Every solution for anyone searching for a special gift…

  • grandparents looking for that special gift that will be there always
  • wives and husbands of Disney fans who want something super special
  • families looking for something the whole family will enjoy
  • collectors who guide their loved ones to their next exciting acquisition

Of course ArtInsights is always here to guide you as well, since we’ve been helping collectors find their way for over 2o years.  We are happy to help you find something for your own wish list or for to make this holiday wonder-filled for your Disney-loving loved ones!