Sunday, 10 August 2014


art of john alvin

Titan Books were kind enough to send me a copy of the book, The Art Of John Alvin.  John Alvin was an American cinematic artist and painter who illustrated some of the 20th century's most iconic movie posters. Alvin began his poster career with Blazing Saddles in 1974, and went on to produce the posters for several Disney blockbusters and numerous other smash hits. His most recent work was on the campaign for Disney's Enchanted. John's wife, Andrea, also a painter, lives in California and his Broadway actress daughter, Farah, lives and works in NYC.  John has produced some of the most famous paintings for the likes of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg including E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, The Color Purple, Empire of the Sun, Always and Jurassic Park.

It really is a wonderful book and packed full of John's work with insightful information to accompany each poster.  I thought I would share some of John's lesser known work.

These two painting of the Star Wars droids were done for a series of John Williams concerts, however and unfortunately the concerts never happened and so the poster never used.



Concept work for Revenge of the Jedi.

revenge of the jedi concept artwork

John's famous work for E.T. and concept artwork.  In the book it explains how John was told by Steven Spielberg that he was inspired by the light and colours emerging from the clouds in one of John's paintings and how it influenced the scene in the film.

e.t. concept art

Also worth mentioning is the film was so top secret that the only piece John was allowed to see was in fact the arm of E.T. and no other parts.  The famous "hands touching" poster has John's daughter hand as the model he used for reference.
e.t. concept art

Concept artwork for Jurassic Park.  John was allowed to visit the Stan Winston studios where the dinosaur models were being designed and built.

jurassic park concept artwork

jurassic park concept artwork

jurassic park concept artwork

John was called upon to do artwork for Star Wars Celebration and this one celebrates Celebration IV.

celebration iv

John is an important part of the history of Star Wars and Steven Spielberg's work.  This book belongs in any fans collection.  As quoted by George Lucas on the back of the book
"We are so fortunate to count John's talent among the treasures of the saga's legacy."
The book is beautifully put together  and with John's wife, Andrea writing, it tells a personal story with information you wouldn't necessary get with any other writer.

Highly recommended.

Rob Wainfur
@thebeardedtrio


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