PosterSpy: An Alternative Movie Poster Collection Book Review – A Celebration of Movie Poster Artistry

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PosterSpy: An Alternative Movie Poster Collection, from Schiffer Publishing, brings to the page's original artworks by more than fifty film connoisseurs who combines their artistic mastery and love of film to produce renditions of their favorite movie posters.

Authored and cataloged by Frederic Claquin of ARTtitude and Jack Woodhams, the artistic vision behind a website which initiated the idea of building a complete book dedicated to the old school art of movie posters.

"It should be remembered, as co-author Frederic Claquin explained in the introduction," that way before the advent of YouTube or social networks in general, the first contact you had with a movie, album or book, or video game was its cover. It was supposed to capture the essence of the world you were invited to by the artist or the director."


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"This book is a celebration of talent, art, creativity, and the love for movies that holds the alternative poster movement together," co-author Jack Woodham said.

PosterSpy: An Alternative Movie Poster Collection brings together fifty-eight well known artists, many who are regular contributors to posterspy.com, and showcases the skill, talent and artistic interpretation to many of the world's most recognized films in history.

A largely male dominated industry, there are a handful of female artists across the 239 pages. Many of the artists attribute their interest and inspiration in cinematic artistry to industry greats such as Drew Struzan, Richard Amsel, and John Alvin.


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Distinctive circus style posters, which depicts the main attraction and several acts along the bottom, is clearly a descendant of Hollywood's Golden era, with the main stars full face and two or three scenes from the film highlighted with a collection of the film's talent on the canvass. The coloring reflects the mood the film projects.

Without seeing the book, one could visualize the concept and styling with Quentin Tarantino's, "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood," which represents the circus style poster of the bygone era.


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Even as many of the films presented are recent, The Infiltrator, Inside Llewyn Davis and The Wrestler, the artist Ignacio RC creates with this circus poster style.

As the artist are inspired by the film, the poster work becomes the visual images that fill their mind as they create poster size one sheets. The nearly 300 posters presented her cover a diverse range of genres and eras from pop culture favorites life Star Wars and Goonies to the Wes Anderson filmography to horror and sci-fi classics.

The expression becomes the interpretation. Many utilize classic styling, which put many of the well-known and celebrated artists out of work, other create what would clearly fall into the modern art genre, combining abstract and expressionism and bold, block colors paying homage to the Pop art style and with others merge the styles and create the poster work with naturalistic coloring and a high level of realism through the use of an airbrush.


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The artists, which were chosen by the authors, had previously submitted the work on PosterSpy.com, which features more 10,000 pieces of poster art, and while many of the posters included are of the same film title the interesting aspect is to compare the visual expression from each of the artist work. No two people see the things the same.

PosterSpy: An Alternative Movie Poster Collection is a must have for collectors of modern art, lovers of film, art students and fans of film memorabilia. It is available at fine books store everywhere, and from Schiffer Publishing.

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