A friend wrote to me recently, telling me of speaking with an elderly relative who told him about his earlier career as a graphic designer and how he had worked on a number of movie posters. It made me think of all the great old movie posters I had always seen and enjoyed over the years. I particularly liked the early ones, pre-computerization, that featured great graphics and wonderful illustration art. They were meant to grab the passerby’s eye and quickly give an impression of the film. Some are quite beautiful and stand up as objects of art in their own right.
Doing a little digging brought me to a book, Starstruck, by collector Ira Resnick that has about 250 images of posters from his large collection. There is a nice feature on his website that allows you to browse the first several pages of the book to give you a feel for the artwork shown. It has some great imagery which puts it on my list of books to get.
I definitely have been influenced by popular entertainment and advertising in my own work. It would be easy to deny it but we are so bombarded in our culture that to do so would be disingenuous. I remember stopping and looking at movie posters in the lobbies of theatres from an early age, pulled in by the colors and images. There was a poster shop in downtown Elmira (actually a front for their adult books and material in the back) that I used to frequent as a teen. The posters hung from the ceiling like stalactites, hundreds of them in all sorts of styles. Some were funny, some were racy and some were plain stupid. But my faves were the movie posters. I can still see many of them in my memory. As I said, they definitely inspired how I see color and shape.