It’s getting down to the last minute for getting Christmas presents and holiday gifts! We thought we’d help the folks out there who are still struggling to find something wonderful, and suggest film art.Disney art and Marvel superhero art, just to name two, make crowd pleasing, inventive gifts for family and friends who love movies.Our experience in the gallery is it can be the sort of art people don’t buy themselves, but love and enjoy, and would be so happy to get as a gift! We have so many visitors who frequent our store and know all about the movies, and come by just to see what’s new.They respect and look up to the artists that are represented here.I’m also so excited when someone close to them comes in and gets them a piece.It’s always so well received!
With that in mind, here are a few pieces that are ready to display and are $150 or under:
How many of my longterm clients know that the mice and birds in Cinderella are some of my all-time favorites? I’m not alone. John Rowe does a great composition of them and the star of the film, Cinderella’s castle…ummm, I mean, Cinderella.
Oh that haughty iris is such a great character. There are so many minor characters that are memorable in Alice in Wonderland. Here are just a few of them, created in a great Disney fine art piece by Michelle St. Laurent:
What a wonderful piece this Dig A Little Deeper is! Heather Theurer has gotten lots of press for her live action reinterpretations of Disney princesses. Here is her version of the first African-American Disney princess:
Did you love Moana? Of course you did. This is one of the best scenes in the whole movie, captured in Disney fine art by Rob Kaz.
You’d be surprised at the number of adult fans this pixie dream girl has. She should be the original “not bad, just drawn that way”, but regardless, many a fan would love to have this sometimes-sweet fairy.
And what about Star Wars: The Last Jedi? You loved it? You hated it? Either way, you’re probably a fan of the saga, and so is that loved-one. Here’s a sold-out Star Wars limited edition of BB8 the Astromech droid by Steve Thomas that no one will argue about. The best of the new Star Wars characters captured in official Star Wars film art!
Maybe that hard-to-buy-for friend or family member is a fan of Marvel. If everyone didn’t love Thor and company before Ragnarok, they do now! We have framed special-release posters from San Diego Comic-Con of both Ragnarok and Black Panther that will be a great gift and tickle their fancy. We also have a sold out Captain America limited edition and a great New Avengers piece…
OMG! You can get Thor, Cap, and Iron Man by Alex Ross for your Marvel-obsessed loved-one! Can there be a better gift? No. The answer is no.
Many of you know I’m also a film critic.I got to see the great new Star Wars release on Monday, and there’s a review on our sister site, Cinema Siren.But for all you fans who want to read it who DON’T go on there regularly, it’s at the bottom of this article.
*it’s verified SPOILER FREE by Michael Barry, who hasn’t seen the film and doesn’t want to know any plot points* If you don’t want to read it, you can stop at the art by Alex Ross and look no further on the post.
STAR WARS ART
In honor of The Last Jedi, I am writing a bit about the official Star Wars art we have at ArtInsights:
The art of Star Wars has always been collectible.In fact, as many of you know, George Lucas has such a vast collection of art and artifacts from the saga, he’s building a museum to house it and his other fine fine art.
My experience of people who collect Star Wars art, not just toys or models, is they are some of the most enthusiastic, geeky collectors of all fandom.They are notoriously obsessed with accuracy.John Alvin created a number of images for the first three films, then for their re-releases and was thrilled to create the official images for Star Wars Celebration.
He often referenced times when a fan would come up and tell them how he got everything about a particular ship or craft right, and it was always when he was at his happiest.He himself was an absolute Star Wars geek, and at the time of his death he left behind dozens of completely crafted, painted, and completed models of everything from X-Wings to the Falcon and various ships of the Galactic Empire.It’s why he was thrilled when LucasFilm came to him to create an image called “The Trench” as official art for their website.
One of my favorite images John ever created as a limited edition is “There Will Be No Bargain”.At the time there was no official Star Wars art featuring Salacious Crumb. We created a piece that highlighted the characters in Return of the Jedi, but included Salacious Crumb as a main feature.Often when people come into the gallery and point out the piece, I’m temped to do my impersonation of his laugh (but I stop myself).
The art for the Star Wars Concert has a long, strange history.The poster for the Star Wars Concert is the most highly prized original poster collectors look for from the saga. John Alvin’s art was used for the poster announcing a concert to be held at the Hollywood Bowl with John Williams.Only 1500 were to be made and when the show was cancelled, they stopped printing.No one knows just how many posters were created, but not anything close to 1500.I love the concept art for the poster, because R2D2 and C3PO are two of my favorite Star Wars characters.Like two bad pennies, they just keep showing up! 😉
Mike Kungl’s Star Wars art has been hugely popular, also because of the precision the artist used in creating his images.His work was so popular, it wound up being featured on the set of the Big Bang Theory.Even now, people come into the gallery and recognize his style from the show.
He excels at creating very dramatic renderings styled after propaganda posters, and that’s what Star Wars fans love about his art.Every one is very iconic.Here he is talking to me about his art:
We got Roger Kastel, who created the Empire Strikes Back poster to create art for us. At the time, he wasn’t even doing any illustration work any more, he was doing traditional paintings.He created a number of graphite images based on both his work on Jaws and Empire Strikes Back.He stopped doing them some time ago, but we still have one.I did love working with him, and really his ESB image is by far the most iconic of the entire saga!
As to new art, since we have felt strongly a long time about only working with artists who have create art for the actual campaigns or LucasFilm projects, we don’t sell a lot of art from the new movies.If one of the artists we know who worked on older films will do a commission, we will do those with our clients, or if artist Steve Thomas does something, we make an exception.His advertisement-styled graphic images are very popular and reasonable for fans, and they are official Star Wars art, so we try to get as many as we can of those, because they generally get released at $89 and only go up a bit to $150 right before they sell out.We have BB8 which sold out quite some time ago, but we have!
Alex Ross did a special piece that was for one of the comic books (still canon!) and we have that, too!It’s a well-priced piece that was released for a convention, and we have it in the gallery.Our favorite scoundrel is front and center, as we remember him.
If you’d like to see all the Star Wars art we currently have, CLICK HERE.
For those of you who are going to see the new movie soon, let us know what you think of it in the comments here or on our Facebook posting of this Spotlight article.NO SPOILERS, please!A Star Wars release always makes December even more the most wonderful time of the year!
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is so good that it will thrill and surprise everyone from the first generation of fans to its newest recruit. It reaffirm to all the power of the force. This film, as written and directed by Rian Johnson, moves the saga forward dramatically, but in truth, it is all about character.
The Last Jedi is unquestionably Johnson’s baby, which given how controlling the LucasFilm powers-that-be can be, speaks to their faith in his vision.When asked how he approached crafting the story, Johnson said, “This is the 2nd chapter. The Force Awakens created these vibrant new characters, it was the job of this movie to pick them up and really test their mettle and put them through their paces.”
It’s best not to discuss any plot points. Fans already know Luke Skywalker is in the movie, because he’s the biggest character on the one-sheet poster.Audiences will learn more about the characters they’ve always known and loved, and more about both the sophomore and freshman classes.As to those from A Force Awakens, Poe, Rey, Kylo, and Finn equally get their chance to shine, and show the complexity and motivations of their characters.There are also some great new additions to the cast.Most notable is Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico and the dynamic she brings to her scenes with John Boyega. In an interview, Tran talked about why. “From the beginning we clicked during the audition process. I don’t think there’s a better partner anyone could have when you’re going into a movie like this.”Their chemistry is undeniable.
Kelly Marie Tran also talked about the continued theme in the Star Wars Universe of having strong self-aware female characters.“From the beginning, the Star Wars films have always been groundbreaking in that way.What keeps people interested is they continue to do so.”Another new strong female character portrayed by Laura Dern has a very interesting arc we see unfold in what almost feels like real time.The potential for spoilers dictates no more is said about her role, or that of other Star Wars newcomer Benicio Del Toro, but they fold themselves and their storylines convincingly into the saga.
With all the newer members of the cast, lovers of the franchise can rest easy about the old guard.Carrie Fisher’s Leia is luminous, as always.Her swan song took a 1977 ingenue albeit fearless princess, and turned her into both a general, and a powerful wise-woman. Even at that, it is Luke’s story that is most enriched, having several wow moments that legitimately rival the last act of A New Hope.
As to the expanded diversity in The Last Jedi, it’s not something that hits the audience on the head, but really feels right.In a story where there is conflict and resistance, it makes sense that those who believe in freedom and equality would be coming from every perspective and gender, as well as a wide variety of alien species.
Visually, the audiences are brought through everything from cityscapes, to deserts, vast galactic spaceships, and desolate island landscapes. Some of the most exciting scenes of dogfights in space take us through such spectacular environments they will make your eyes pop.
Also, as one would expect, there are some spectacular sets, and, as has always been the case for the films of Star Wars, there is a great balance of the real and the digital.Says Johnson, “We had a huge amount of practical sets for this film. Part of the lived-in feel of Star Wars is something we really wanted to capture.At the same time, the other end of Star Wars is constantly pushing the envelope in terms of special effects.” “Rian’s script at first count had something like 160 sets,” said production designer Rick Heinrichs, (Pirate of the Caribbean, Beetlejuice), but they wound up with around 125 sets where it was filmed at Pinewood Studios in England, as well as other locations around the world.For example, they built a cave that was changed and relit to work for three other settings.
There’s so much going on it’s almost impossible to remember the entire story (not that it would be shared in this review..) Which of course, may be a ploy to get audiences all to see it multiple times.At 2 hours and 23 minutes, it is definitely on the long side, and there are so many plot threads it feels like they could get knotted up in the viewer’s brain. It’s possible there’s an even better movie that could have been carved out in the editing room.However,a shorter film might have sacrificed the strong character development, which is what will remain with fans long after the credits roll.
Lovers of Star Wars are incredibly lucky to have Johnson at the helm, who is clearly a super-fan of the saga. He took the stories, archetypes and mythology, and expanded and enhanced it in nearly every way.
Star Wars: Visions was released on its own, and in a deluxe edition with five hand-signed giclees.They include art by Alex Ross, Moebius, Donato Giancola, Daniel Greene, and Jamie Wyeth. The deluxe book also includes 40 extra pages focusing on the artists’ processes, complete with sketches.There were only 500 created.
It sold out immediately, as collectibles of this nature do.We got as many as we could at the time, and of course didn’t open them, that being the privilege of the collector who takes them home.So we never got a close look at the prints. The one copy we still have sits unopened.
The images were curated by J.W. Rinzler, who was the executive editor at Lucasfilm. He is also responsible for New York Times bestsellers The Making of Star Wars and The Making of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, and The Complete Making of Indiana Jones.
George Lucas decided, as an avid collector of both the art used to make and promote the Star Wars films, and fine and illustration art, to go out and find artists he loved in the fine art world to create images relating to his films.This is a great idea, obviously, but here’s a little-known aspect of that project.When an artist creates art relating to Star Wars, they have to, as part of the contract, offer their art to George Lucas as the lowest market price.That is to say, if the artists involved usually work through galleries or agents, Lucas would have to have the right of first refusal for the art before even the galleries or agents had access.This seems perfectly fair for those who usually create art for the franchise.What about those outside the usual Star Wars Universe?
A number or artists used in the book are very famous in the world of contemporary fine art.What a genius move for an art collector to get the lowest possible price for art by these successful artists, while getting them to create unique commissions for him.Win-win? Yes!Indeed there were only a few artists that didn’t sell their pieces for the book to Lucas.As someone who is artist-centric, i’m going to say that’s a solid win for artists everywhere.Now that, years after the release of the book and his acquisition of the art created for it, we know the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will be built in Los Angeles, we can look forward to seeing at least some of these originals in person on its walls.
The beauty of this book, ultimately, is the continuing belief by Lucas, and his support of it through the creation is this art, that there should be no distinction between “high” art and “popular” art.This is a notion I’ve been standing behind for the 25 years i’ve had a gallery dedicated to film, animation, and contemporary art.I look forward to seeing the many paintings he bought from John Alvin, as well as his huge collection of art by Norman Rockwell.
AS TO THE BOOK:
Since the release of the book, Moebius has passed away, so getting a signed limited edition by him as part of the set is reason enough to buy the deluxe edition.We’ve not really been promoting that we have a copy, because we certainly don’t want someone to buy the book and break up the limited editions and sell them separately.This is one of those collectibles best reserved for a collector who will know how nice and right it is to keep them together!
There’s a great video about the collection of the artists HERE.
(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!
(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.
5 OF THE RAREST & MOST EXCLUSIVE STAR WARS ART IMAGES AVAILABLE TODAY
Guaranteed to put the ‘HO-HO-HOTH’ in the holiday, sending Star Wars fans into hyperdrive, this art by iconic movie poster artist John Alvin will get them right in the geek, making you look Yoda-wise and Jedi-clever.
(click above to see ALL the Star Wars art)
The Cold of Hoth by John Alvin: Giclee on paper $300, estate signed exclusive limited edition for Star Wars Celebration ArtInsights Exclusive
There Will Be No Bargain by John Alvin: Giclee on canvas estate-signed for John Alvin $595, only 10 available for sale ArtInsights Exclusive
Episode IV Decade III by John Alvin: Giclee on paper, original commissioned by George Lucas $1200 signed by John Alvin- Extremely limited and an ArtInsights Exclusive
Original art for the Return of the Jedi movie poster, as it was originally called, REVENGE OF THE JEDI created and signed by John Alvin: For those searching not just for droids, but the rarest of the rare!
WHY OFFICIAL STAR WARS FILM ART BY JOHN ALVIN?
Have you seen the new top selling book The Art of John Alvin, written by Andrea Alvin? If you haven’t, go HERE, and order it today!
If you have, “why buy Alvin now” is a question that answers itself. He has more than 200 finished posters to his credit, passed away in 2008, and is now building new fans all over the world, and adding to his longterm rabid, loyal collectors!
All things Star Wars will only continue to expand in worldwide media reach as the hype about JJ Abrams and his Star Wars VI rises to new froth and drool inducing heights. All the news may bore the not-so-sci-fi-savvy, but for those who love the series, it is a time of celebration. There are so many Star Wars related toys and gadgets out there, and your loved one can find those easily enough, but official art by John Alvin, one of the top movie poster artists in film history, actually created for LucasFilm, will get even the biggest fan’s lightsaber glowing a pretty holiday green or red!
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:
By famed movie poster artist John Alvin: (creator of movie posters for over 200 movies)
By Disney art director Toby Bluth:
By movie concept artist Harrison Ellenshaw (concept artist for Star Wars, Tron, and many others)
by artist Disney, Star Wars, and Warner Brothers artist Mike Kungl:
By Disney visual development artist Lisa Keene:
By movie poster and Disney artist John Rowe:
By Warner Brothers and Disney concept artist 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!