Wednesday, December 10, 2008

John Alvin exhibit at ArtInsights

This just came in from Leslie. ArtInsights is a nice gallery out in Reston - they've got a lot of cool things on the wall. For example, last time when I was reviewing Chiarello's Negro Leagues show, I saw an original Snow White cel. Cool stuff.

In addition to the following PR, Leslie writes that she's put some video interview footage on the web as well:

Here are the links to the 4 segments of the John Alvin interview:

and I think they got a young hipster to set up a myspace page.


December 10th, 2008

Leslie Combemale


Reston, VA - ArtInsights Animation and Film Art Gallery, one of the only three galleries worldwide to represent original art of top cinema artist John Alvin, has curated a show of original art highlighting the career of the famed illustrator, who died unexpectedly on February 6th of this year. The art is representative of his estate, and includes graphite concept and mixed media originals, as well as limited editions and interpretive works from a variety from the over 200 movie campaigns on which he worked. In addition to Star Wars, art from Jurassic Park, Lord of the Rings, The Lion King, Blade Runner, Darkman, Mulan, Dragonheart, Band of Brothers, and other film campaigns he influenced, on will be in the show. There will be art available for purchase. The exhibit will be on display through February 6th.

John Alvin is responsible for some of the most famous movie posters from the last 30 years, including E.T., Blade Runner, The Lion King, and Young Frankenstein, as well as more than 130 other films. He created art for numerous Star Wars film promotions and events. "The sale of art by John Alvin has very much effected the popularity of celebrity and film inspired art in the fine art market. John's career has influenced many of the illustrators and cinema artists working today, as they themselves will tell you", says Michael Barry, co-owner of ArtInsights. "He was collected by George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Mel Brooks from the beginning of his career." His partner, Leslie Combemale, adds, "In the years we worked with John, we became close friends, but our respect for his place in film art history also continued to grow. We are sad for his loss as a friend, and as an artist. We are so proud and honored to have this retrospective of his career in our gallery." As part of the tribute, there is also an interview conducted by Leslie Combemale filmed in 2007 that is being released for the first time. Ms. Combemale says, "I never thought it would be the last interview he would do. John and I just did it for fun. We are putting the interview on YouTube so the greatest number of fans and film lovers can see it."

John Alvin worked as an illustrative artist in the film industry for over 35 years. He came into prominence by creating the art for the poster for Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles in 1974. He went on to design art for many films including E.T, which won the Hollywood Reporter Key Art Awards grand prize, and is the only movie art honored with the Saturn Award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Films. He has created more images for Spielberg films than any other single artist, including the poster art for "Empire of the Sun", "The Color Purple", "Always", "Jurassic Park", and, of course, "E.T". He also created a lot of specialized work for George Lucas and the "Star Wars" saga. Mr. Alvin's "Star Wars Concert" and "Star Wars Tenth Anniversary" posters are among the most collectible Star Wars art on the market today. Additionally, the Smithsonian Museum exhibited Alvin's "The Phantom of the Paradise" as one of the best posters of the 20th century. Later in his life he created exclusive images of Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Alien, and Predator, among others, that were used for limited editions. John Alvin's name belongs to a short list of cinema art masters whose works have become icons in Hollywood's history.


ArtInsights, established in 1994, is a privately owned gallery located in Reston Town Center, in Virginia. With their collaboration with John Alvin, they added the art of the cinema to their specialization of creating and developing collections of animation art from Disney, Warner Brothers, Hanna Barbera, and all other major studios. With more than 30 combined years of experience in the animation art field, owners Michael Barry and Leslie Combemale work closely with individuals and corporations to ensure the integrity of their collections. ArtInsights is Virginia's only animation gallery and is the only gallery in the Washington Metropolitan area authorized to represent Warner Bros. and Hanna Barbera animation art to the public. They also have exclusive rights to sell original illustrative art by Harry Potter book cover artist Mary GrandPre, Heroes of the Negro Leagues artist and DC Comics art director Mark Chiarello, and Marguerite Henry and Phantom Stallion book cover artist John Rowe.

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