Tag: movie poster art

The Art of Blade Runner by John Alvin

When a future sci-fi classic and an sci-fi-loving art geek collided

ArtInsights Gallery just got the last two original paintings representing Blade Runner created by the campaign artist who designed and painted the official movie poster in 1982. John Alvin is the illustrator for the iconic image used to promote what would become one of the classics of the science fiction film genre. He made only a few paintings featuring the characters from Ridley Scott’s film, and we can now proudly say we have or have sold every one of them. The last full color mixed media images of Blade Runner art are in the gallery right now.

A DUSTIN HOFFMAN DECKARD?

Imagine Dustin Hoffman as Deckard. It’s hard to do, and yet, he was one of the major actors not only considered but attached to the film early on. Also in play were Paul Newman, Al Pacino, and Gene Hackman. When Hoffman left the project over artistic differences, the filmmakers settled on Harrison Ford, who was just finishing Raiders of the Lost Ark at the time.

JOHN ALVIN & RIDLEY SCOTT SHARED A LOVE OF ARCHITECTURE

John Alvin wasn’t the first choice to make the movie poster, either. It’s not that they had someone else in mind, but rather, that the marketing folk had ideas they wanted to use. Alvin was in on an early meeting that included Ridley Scott, at which point he told Scott that he thought the architecture was really important to the poster and needed to be a major feature. Scott stopped what he was doing and saying and turned to John Alvin, asking him to explain what he had in mind. He explained what he had in mind for the poster, which would include Harrison Ford as Deckard, replicants Roy Batty and Rachael, with the architecture and gear featured in the film figured prominently. He would use what he called “heavy light” (what Disney executives would later consider part of “Alvin-izing”) to add a bit of film noir atmosphere. Though ultimately Roy was not part of the key art for the movie poster, the rest of John’s ideas can be seen in the famous finished poster image.

He would revisit the idea of Roy Batty as an essential part of the poster later, when he created an anniversary image that made Roy the dramatic central focus of the art.

Only four full color John Alvin Blade Runner original paintings were painted later representing Blade Runner. All are shown in the book The Art of John Alvin:

JOHN ALVIN DID VERY LITTLE BLADE RUNNER ART

A page in the book The Art of John Alvin shows his Blade Runner images

The world and look in Blade Runner was very much influenced by futuristic architecture, as well as what Ridley Scott called, “medieval meets electronics”. He felt validated in this blend of aesthetics in seeing the harbor in Hong Kong, which had both junks and skyscrapers.

BLACK & PEACH WITH A PURPOSE

Of course another major influence was film noir. As Ridley Scott said, “The hunter falls in love with his quarry.” Rachael is not strictly a traditional femme fatale, though Deckard falling in love with her certainly could lead to his downfall. In John Alvin’s Blade Runner movie poster, the image of her hovers just below Deckard’s gun-filled hands, the smoke of her cigarette drawing the eye to both the lead character and the architecture featured in the poster.

Sharp light, a broody hot femme, guns, orange, peach and black = film noir awesomeness!

FILM NOIR STYLE SAVES THE DAY

Alvin’s Blade Runner poster is as far off model as he could have gone without losing the spirit of these characters. John Alvin himself talked about that. When he was painting Harrison Ford as Deckard, the only source material he had was a postage stamp-sized image of him in costume. He had to get a jewel’s loop and a magnifying glass to draw him. He determined that utilizing the stylized yet gritty representation so popular in film noir movie posters, with their sharply lit faces and angled light, would be a way of problem-solving or working around the lack of good images of the actors in costume. Even the shards of light in the Blade Runner art are an updated take on the way light was used in the early days promoting film noir.

These are some of the very few graphites presented by John Alvin that led to the finished Blade Runner key art.
John Alvin Blade Runner 10th Anniversary image “I’ve Seen Things”

Once the go-ahead from Ridley Scott happened for the John Alvin Blade Runner key art, there were only a few detailed graphites drawn before they chose a finished design. There are often many stages required to get to the final look of a poster. Collectors and fans, no doubt, wish there were more original images. John Alvin wished that, too, since Blade Runner was one of his favorite movies of all time. Though we aren’t 100% sure, we’ve been told people have seen the original art for the poster, and it’s with Ridley Scott. The original art for the 10th anniversary image, which features a much larger Roy Batty in the poster, went at auction over 20 years ago, for almost $100,000, a record for the time.

Once photoshop made traditionally illustrated movie posters largely a thing of the past, John Alvin and his wife Andrea moved to across the country to be nearer to their daughter, who was building a career in theater and around Broadway. He started creating images for the fine art market, and became quickly very much in demand to movie lovers who knew his work and new collectors who were just starting to see the value of illustration art as “real art”, and original movie poster art as an important aspect of film history.

Since George Lucas had been one of his biggest collectors for years, and had commissioned a Star Wars art collection that John entitled, “The Force of Influence”, there were lots of studies for that work that art galleries were able to access and buy to offer to collectors.

JOHN ALVIN REVISITS A CLASSIC

Blade Runner was a different story. It was only because John loved the film so much that he decided to revisit the film and create a few images to develop ideas he wasn’t able to play with when he worked on the Blade Runner movie poster. One of the things he wanted to do was design a poster image that had Roy Batty as the biggest figure in the art, while still incorporating the architecture. The original Blade Runner art we now have in the gallery on display and for sale includes this piece, and as you can see, John was able to use better source material. This allowed the characters to be more on-model. He wove the architecture into Deckard’s jacket, but also used points of light to draw the eye across one of concept artist Syd Mead’s famous “spinner” crafts so recognizable from the film.

In this Blade Runner original illustration art by John Alvin, Roy Batty looks almost like a specter who is haunting Deckard, and making him question his own humanity. Last Blade Runner available for sale from the John Alvin Estate!

There was also interest on John’s part to create image that included Pris, played by Daryl Hannah, who is not only a fan favorite, but represents a strong female character, albeit a replicant known as a “basic pleasure model”. He also loved the character Eldon Tyrell, who he felt expressed the quality of hubris, especially as he was playing God in experimenting with Rachael in creating her, using memories from his own niece, but not telling her she was a replicant. Alvin saw Tyrell as a tragic figure, and wanted to create an image with Tyrell and his “children”, including Roy Batty, his prodigal son. Unfortunately, he never got a chance to finish this graphite in full color.

The flow of his image gets across the conflict between Deckard and Batty, but also captures Tyrell, the father, and his replicant family. *The original is sold.

In addition to the conflict between Deckard and Batty, John believed the fascination Deckard and Rachael held for each other, though doomed from the start, was one of the aspects of the film that held the story together the most. Much like the film noir plots from the earlier 20th century, he felt their magnetism for each other is part of what made good on what he called the “promise of a great experience”. John always said that’s what he strived to deliver as a movie poster artist.

The love scene from which John Alvin got the name for the below original, called “Kiss Me”, is accompanied by music by the great score created by Vangelis, with the tenor sax solo performed by renowned British musician Dick Morrissey. The plaintive notes on the sax express the mix of idealism and fatalism in their relationship. John Alvin, who loved Vangelis’s score and played his hard-to-get copy of it often, strived to capture that duality. He also believed their story was inseparable from the world they lived in, so he wanted that expressed as well in the art.

John Alvin Blade Runner original art “Kiss Me” shows the shadow and light representative of Deckard and Rachael, and their starcrossed lives. *The original is sold.

The Blade Runner art itself is like all of John Alvin’s original art. It has a way of breaking apart close up and coming together when seen from a distance. Seeing the art in person, it is exciting to be able to dissect how he achieved the emotionally intimate quality for which his illustration art is most well-known. He was someone who did not like to paint in front of others, keeping secrets about how he reached his artistic goals, both big and small. He used any and every tool and medium at his disposal to translate what he had in his mind into physical art. It’s a shame there isn’t more Blade Runner art by John Alvin out there. He passed away over 10 years ago, and even with the release of 2017’s Blade Runner 2049, the 1982 film only becomes more of a classic. Though the film didn’t win a lot of awards, cinephiles did have the good sense to give it a Hugo Award fro Best Dramatic Presentation in 1983. Stop by ArtInsights while the art is still in the gallery to see some of John Alvin’s masterwork. If interested in the only original official Blade Runner piece for sale created by the movie poster artist, CHECK THIS PAGE.

Read an interview with Ridley Scott about Blade Runner

HERE with Harlan Kennedy. HERE with WIRED about a director’s cut.

You can read the original screenplay HERE.

Movie Lovers Gift Guide 2018 from ArtInsights Gallery of Film and Contemporary Art

Movie Lovers Gift Guide from Film Art Gallery ArtInsights Offers Film Fans

Art Celebrating Cinematic Anniversaries and Releases

All By Official Studio Artists

Reston, VA -You’ve seen “alternative posters” and “minimalist posters”, but what about art by the folks who actually helped you fall in love with the movies in the first place? Somebody has to champion them, and that would be you and us! That’s right! A movie lovers gift guide that is all art by the folks who make movies and promote them! Artinsights certainly has perfectly timed for what’s happening in pop culture this holiday season, all with art that is not only officially licensed, but created by studio artists.  Steamboat Willie has its 90th anniversary on November 18th, and Yellow Submarine turns 50 on November 13th.  Both Disney and Warner Bros. have highly-anticipated tentpole films releasing in December, with Mary Poppins Returns landing in theaters December 19th, and Aquaman swimming to screens on December 14th.  ArtInsights Gallery has art representing all these properties, making  holiday gift giving easy for the loved ones of fans who search in vain every year for something special and unusual to make the season bright.  Prices range from $150 to a king’s ransom, with several highlighted pieces in the lower range to keep budgets in mind.

No movie lovers gift guide would be complete without less expensive art! There is a page on their site with a selection of dozens of pieces below $250. (https://artinsights.com/production/santas-little-helpers-presents-for-christmas-hanukkah-yule-kwanzaa-under-250/)

Fans of Mickey Mouse and the Beatles have been celebrating all year. Yellow Submarine returned to theaters this summer, and there’s a new graphic novel release of the story.  Disney is having what they’re calling the “world’s biggest mouse party”, and have a new exhibit in New York called “Mickey: The True Original Exhibition”.  ArtInsights is ready for those with friends and family who are fans, with official art by Alex Ross featuring the Beatles called “The Fab Four “ in a limited edition mini canvas for $150. 

Mickey Mouse as Steamboat Willie reminds Disneyphiles where it all began.  For them, the gallery suggests one of two limited editions by highly-collectible Disney artist Tim Rogerson, one a giclee on canvas featuring Mickey through the years called “Mickey’s Creative Journey” priced at $150, the other a hand-signed giclee on paper capturing the character in a grey-toned piece called “Mickey at the Helm” for $350.

Mary Poppins, starring Emily Blunt, directed by Rob Marshall, promises to be a huge hit, especially with fans of the Oscar-winning 1964 classic.  The gallery has a limited edition signed by Tim Rogerson called “A Mary Tune”,  that shows Mary and her cohorts painted against the sheet music for Feed the Birds, written by the Sherman Brothers, who won an Oscar and Grammy for Mary Poppins. It is priced at $495.  Also offered, for the fans who have everything, is art by matte background painter Peter Ellenshaw, who, indeed won an Oscar for his work on the film. “Practically Perfect”, which is signed by Ellenshaw, who passed away in 2007, is $1100, and would be a highlight of any Disney film fan’s collection.

For Aquaman, the gallery has an image created by famed DC and Justice League Unlimited animation director Bruce Timm, which includes not only Aquaman, but many of the members of the Justice League, including Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman, all of whom have been making news in live action studio news this year, called “Guardians of Justice”. Also suggested is a giclee on canvas by DC comic book cover artist Alex Ross that features Aquaman with the lead members of the Justice League called “JLA”.  Both retail for $150.

There are a number of other pieces corresponding to film art news, including art from Pinocchio, which was recently announced as a property Guillermo Del Toro will reinterpret with a new stop-motion film. Whether purists strictly stick with the original Harry Potter series, or love the newest releases written by Rowling, art from the Harry Potter book and film series is alway popular, and coincides with  Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.  Many are created by Stuart Craig, the production designer for all the Harry Potter movies as well as the new Fantastic Beast series.

There are a number of images by Star Wars production artists, including the limited edition “The Cold of Hoth” by John Alvin, an exclusive giclee on paper for $150 from everyone’s favorite film in the saga, as well as images representing DC and Marvel characters.  Of course, there is a veritable parade of Disney princesses represented in art, which is perfectly timed with the release of Ralph Breaks The Internet, in which the Disney princesses figure prominently, (including the use of the voices from the original feature films!)  You can find all these options on the gallery’s new blog.  See the bottom of the press release for links or contact the gallery for more information. Images of available art sent immediately upon request.

ABOUT ARTINSIGHTS

Since 1994, representing a wide range of film and animation art at the gallery in Reston Town Center, ArtInsights focuses on proprietary projects and artist representation relating to the history of animation and film, and the celebration and examination of popular culture, all by artists working in the film industry. With artists like iconic movie poster artist John Alvin, studio concept artists William Silvers and Jim Salvati, and Marvel and DC cover artists Alex Ross, the gallery builds collections of original and limited edition art for their growing worldwide collector base. See the work and read the blog on  HYPERLINK “http://www.artinsights.com” www.artinsights.com. For more information about ArtInsights’ 2018 gift guide, go to https://artinsights.com/the-artinsights-2018-gift-guide-celebrates-film-anniversaries-and-new-releases/ 

# # #

“Fab Four” by Alex Ross https://artinsights.com/product/fab-four-yellow-submarine-limited-edition-mini-canvas-by-alex-ross/

“Mickey’s Creative Journey” by Tim Rogerson https://artinsights.com/product/mickeys-creative-journey-treasures-on-canvas-by-tim-rogerson/

“Willie at the Helm” by Tim Rogerson https://artinsights.com/product/willie-at-the-helm-mickey-mouse-steamboat-willie-giclee-on-paper-by-tim-rogerson/

“A Mary Tune” by Tim Rogerson https://artinsights.com/product/a-mary-tune-mary-poppins-embellished-giclee-on-canvas-by-tim-rogerson/

“Practically Perfect” by Peter Ellenshaw https://artinsights.com/product/practically-perfect-limited-edition-giclee-on-canvas-by-peter-ellenshaw/

“Guardians of Justice” from Justice League Unlimited by Bruce Timm https://artinsights.com/product/guardians-of-justice-dc-comics-lithograph-on-art-paper/

“JLA” by Alex Ross: https://artinsights.com/product/liberty-justice-jla-mini-canvas/

“The Cold of Hoth” by John Alvin: https://artinsights.com/product/star-wars-the-cold-of-hoth-giclee-on-paper-by-john-alvin/

“Journey on the Hogwarts Express” by Stuart Craig: https://artinsights.com/product/journey-on-the-hogwarts-express-harry-potter-giclee-on-paper-by-stuart-craig/

All Their Wicked Ways by Tim Rogerson

Commissioning Original Film Art: Designing A Dream

Did you know you could have art made specially for you by top Disney and Hollywood artists?

ArtInsights has been working with insiders licensed by the studios to create original art for our clients for over 20 years!

What makes this so special and unique is you can have a beautiful original piece of art to display in your home, in your media room, or family room… or a place of honor that reminds the whole family of favorite moments from a new or old classic film or cartoon.  It is truly my favorite thing to do at ArtInsights:  working with art lovers who feel as passionate as I do about the memories they hold dear from movies that may have been seen by millions of people, or by just a few true fans.  We find the perfect artist who may have actually worked on that film, or with that studio, or who is significantly influenced by the movie you celebrate and want represented.  Mixing a scene or scenes you love with the design aesthetic that has made them revered and successful in the world of film art, they construct a wonderful piece of original art JUST FOR YOU.

Even more exciting is the art is often chosen by the studio to be turned into a limited edition, which makes the original art all the more important.

We believe there is a conversation that occurs… a relationship between the artist and the collector…when a work of art is created and passed on to be enjoyed as part of the art that makes the collector’s living space or work environment unique and special.

It is exciting to know you can bring a little bit of Hollywood home, and celebrate the movies you love!  Here are just a few original pieces created with artists through ArtInsights:  (don’t fall too in love with THESE pieces, they were made, just as we can for you, as commissions–you’ll have to decide what would make YOUR heart sing as these pieces did for their collectors…anything you can dream of, our artists can bring into being!)

By Disney artist Tim Rogerson:

Dreaming-in-Color-tim-rogerson

 

Fantasia-tim-rogerson

 

Walts-Palace-tim-rogerson
By famed movie poster artist John Alvin: (creator of movie posters for over 200 movies)

willie-wonka-john-alvin

to-kill-a-mockingbird-john-alvin

wizard-of-oz-john-alvin

terminator-john-alvin

lord-of-the-rings-embrace-john-alvin

Lord-of-the-Rings-john-alvin

Galadriel-john-alvin

elven-archer-john-alvin

Hoth-john-alvin

indiana-jones-john-alvin

my-fair-lady-john-alvin

harry-potter-the-great-hall-john-alvin

casablanca-john-alvin

bullitt-john-alvin

holly-golightly-john-alvin

bladerunner-sepia-john-alvin

bladerunner-john-alvin

ive-seen-things-john-alvin

Bittersweet-Embrace-john-alvin
Tink-Shows-the-Way-john-alvin

By Disney art director Toby Bluth:

Fantasia-toby-bluth Teatime-with-Alice-toby-bluth The-Ugly-Duckling-toby-bluth Tidying-Up-toby-bluth peter-pan-toby-bluth

By movie concept artist Harrison Ellenshaw (concept artist for Star Wars, Tron, and many others)

Lets-Go-Fly-a-Kite-harrison-ellenshaw

Someday-My-Prince-Will-Come-harrison-ellenshaw

by artist Disney, Star Wars, and Warner Brothers artist Mike Kungl:

Beyond-Infinity-mike-kungl

Rabbits-Prefer-Red-Heads-mike-kungl

By Disney visual development artist Lisa Keene:

At-Odds-with-the-Sea-lisa-keene

By movie poster and Disney artist John Rowe:

Beyond-the-Door-john-rowe

The-Flight-to-Fantasy-john-rowe

What-is-a-Pirate-john-rowe

By Warner Brothers and Disney concept artist Jim Salvati:

Maleficient-jim-salvati

This is a very small percentage of the art we have created for our clients.  Up to this moment we have never had the artists we work with not absolutely exceed our and our clients’ expectations.  It’s why the Hollywood studios choose them over and over again even today!

We chose these pieces to show you because nearly all of these were turned into limited editions by the studios.  Most of these artists can be commissioned to create a wide variety of images from live action movies encompassing the entire history of film as well as Disney and other animation studio features.

Contact ArtInsights today to find out how you too can have a one of the best film artists create a one-of-a-kind work of art just for you!