Otomo Shohei

Looks like the father has a worthy son.

Otomo Shohei

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The art of Bob Peak

Ok, let´s talk about Robert Peak.

Peak is no doubt most well-known for his work in film posters. In this field he was no doubt THE MASTER. Of course there are other artists as good As him like Amsel or Struzan (who will appear around here sooner rather than later) but I would say Peak is the one to rule them all.
It was a strange situation that such a colossal artist had no book about him and his art. Just an issue of the Illustration magazine and articles here and there. Fortunately and thanks to the efforts of his son Thomas Peak we have now what I think could be called the book of the year (next to Otomo Katsuhiro Genga Ten book, soon to be available in amazon.com )

If you are interested in advertising art, film poster art, magazine illustrations, Peak´s work or just plain masterful art look no further.

This is a huge hardcover book which covers the entire span of Peak´s career, since his very beginnings right till the very end.

We have every step of his career documented with pictures, sketches, final art, alternate proposals… This book is absolutely wonderful. 390 pages of great quality paper and printing chock, full of an incredible array of marvelous creations by Peak.

Let´s take a look to the index and that will show us all the variety of subjects and fields that Peak mastered: after an introduction and a chapter about his early days we find the following sections:  advertising, editorial, fashion, movies, music, automobile design, sports, travel, time magazine, tv guide and fine art.  Mastering all that is not easy task in such a short time as a human life!

Some of my favourite artwork you can find here: Excalibur, Apocalypse Now (Peak´s own favourite too), Camelot, Star Trek, Superman, HAIR,  Rollerball, The Missouri Breaks, Yakuza, My Fair Lady… I find remarkable too his Time Magazine work and of course some of his collages, really creative and innovative stuff.  Only Saul Bass is on the same level, IMHO.

The book also contains texts by quite a lot of people, including Drew Struzan, Fred Taraba, Tom Peak, Milton Glaser, Stanley Mouse, William Stout, Leonard Maltin, Norman Jewison and many others, including of course Mr. Bob Peak himself.

As you can see I am quite excited about this book and as a film poster designer myself this is great inspiration, so to I would just say one more thing: BUY IT NOW.

Best 79 bucks you will spend this year and the costumer support is excellent.

Well, what are you waiting for?

J. P. Witkin

Here, as promised, we have a weird book.

This is a catalogue of a J. P. Witkin exhibition that took place at New York’s Guggenheim Museum in 1995, I believe.

To call Witkin a controversial author would be like the biggest understatement ever. His work is full of dead bodies, dead nature, people with deformities, skeletons, some SM imagery… (don´t worry, I tried to choose the less offensive stuff for this post). But besides all that I find his images are always beautiful to look at and actually they are the gate to some serious deep thinking about what beauty is and why we can feel attracted to some images that could be described as disgusting.

Truth is I really can´t explain why I feel so attracted to Witkin´s stuff, but I am. I really think his work is art of the highest calibre. Danny Elfman must feel the same as he is the owner of one of Witkin´s images

The book is a hardcover, 272 pages of pretty good quality paper, with texts by Germano Celant and Mr. Witkin himself. Most pictures (about 100 of them) are shown in the right side of the book, with the opposite side usually empty but with some exceptions where we can find some sketches.

You can find this book online for sale, though it can be quite expensive. But to me is a must- buy. Witkin has some other books around so it is not too hard to get familiar with the man´s work. Also you can learn more about him here.

Definitely do it.