Posted by Chris on August 7, 2010 at 08:00 AM CST
John Alvin writes:

The late John Alvin worked on more than 250 film campaigns, with over 100 finished posters to his credit -- including E.T., Blade Runner, Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, Gremlins, Legend and Willow. In addition to receiving the Hollywood Reporter Key Art Awards' grand prize, Alvin's E.T. was the only movie art ever to be honored with the Saturn Award from The Academy of Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Films. He has created more finished posters for Steven Spielberg-directed movies than any other cinema artist. Alvin has produced many special works for Lucasfilm. His Star Wars Concert and Star Wars Tenth Anniversary posters are among the most collectible in the market today. He also created the official Celebration I and IV event posters. Additionally, The Smithsonian exhibited Alvin's Phantom of the Paradise as one of the best posters of the 20th Century. John Alvin passed away in February 2008. His sudden death was a great loss to the Star Wars community, and his art will forever be regarded as some of the best in movie history.

John Alvin

Title: "The Cold of Hoth"
Price: $150
Edition Size: 100
Celebration V Exclusive

We've been told that this particular artwork will never be released as a limited edition again! Read on for a wonderful interview with John's wife, Andrea.


Leslie Combemale of ArtInsights Animation and Film Art Gallery, which will be featuring the art of famed cinema artist John Alvin in their booth at Celebration, caught up with Andrea Alvin, his wife, about what made John so special as an artist…

LC: John Alvin is most known as the artist who created the finished posters for ET, Blade Runner, Blazing Saddles, and some of the most collected Star Wars posters...What is it about John Alvin that sets him apart from all of the other poster artists?

AA: John was never just an illustrator. He was an extraordinary illustrator in the sense that he could imbue his subjects with a sense of excitement and emotion. He often brought an etherial quality that felt like cinematic lighting. Art directors and directors of marketing began to call it "Alvinizing." He had the ability to compose the art to create the sense of a big, important movie.

John went beyond being a "wrist for hire," and a maker of pretty pictures. He could do it all, from concept to copywriting to finished art. If the poster was more appropriate as a photographic solution, he would design the poster with the photos and enhance them with a mélange of art and photography. This was done before computers and later with computers.

LC: He did tons of movie posters, right?

AA: His contribution to entertainment posters in the 20th Century was comparable to no other artist. He worked on over 200 films and did the final poster art for 144 movie one sheets. He created posters that became icons of a generation. Mention the movie, and most people will describe John's art. All this, in a lifetime of only 59 years.

LC: I know John had a particular passion for all things Star Wars…

AA: Oh, yes. John loved Star Wars. He was a fan from the first day he saw it. He was asked, actually begged, to do a poster for the original movie, but was too busy working on what were considered "Important Films" and did not have the time to do it. It's the one film that got away. He went on to create the "Star Wars Concert Poster" which has become one of the most collectible of the Star Wars posters of all time. He has created memorable posters for Star Wars special events and a series of personal paintings called "The Force of Influence," many of which George Lucas has in his personal collection.

LC: Can you talk a bit about what John and his history with Celebration and what you're doing this year?

AA: John did the official poster for Celebration I. Three years ago he was a prominent presence at Celebration IV. He painted the event poster and created a limited print of the thirtieth anniversary of the original Star Wars. This year he is no longer with us, but I'll be at the Artinsights booth. We have produced a limited print commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of the Empire Strikes Back, featuring a painting by John that has not been seen before. Artinsights will be representing Johns original art and rare posters and prints. Acme Archives will have brand new limited prints of John's art. John always greatly appreciated his fans and I have been touched by the way they reached out to me to tell me what his art meant to them. Without John, this show will be very different from the last one for me, but I'm excited to bring the art that represents John's legacy to his fans at C5, and I'm looking forward to meeting some of his fans and collectors for the first time.

About ArtInsights at C5, (booth 1026):

ArtInsights Animation and Film Art Gallery will have a booth at Celebration 5 featuring the art of John Alvin and other original art that has been part of official Star Wars releases including images that have been used to create limited editions. Come by the booth to see the exclusive John Alvin limited edition created for the show and meet Andrea Alvin, as well as official C5 artist Randy Martinez and wildly popular Star Wars artist Christian Waggoner, both of whom will also have original art at the ArtInsights booth.
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