Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Week 4: Drew Struzan
For this week, I decided to go with a piece from an illustrator who is more well-known. It is likely that even if you do not know Drew Struzan's name you have seen his work, as he is the man behind some pretty iconic illustrated movie posters (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Harry Potter being prime examples). However, I have never seen this piece, done for Pan's Labyrinth, outside of his gallery website, even though, according to the caption on the site, it was done for promotional purposes.
Stylistically, the piece seems to draw heavily on the organic motifs and more decorative backgrounds of Art Nouveau. In addition, the muted colors have a definite resemblance to Arthur Rackham's work, something that I think was intentional given who the illustration was for. In terms of style, it is definitely successful.
In terms of the content, I feel that this piece captures a main theme of the movie really well. I recall someone once saying that though the tasks that the faun gives to Ofelia are terrifying, they are less horrible than the other circumstances in her life. This illustration shows this perspective perfectly, as a distraught Ofelia seems to find comfort in the faun's magical world. What I find particularly interesting about this piece, and this may just be reading too much into it, is the faun's direct gaze at the viewer. There is something accusing in his expression, as if he holds the viewer responsible for Ofelia's grief.. if this was the artist's intent, it is intense and I love it. For this reason, this is my favorite Struzan piece, even if it didn't really see much use in promotional material.
For anyone interested in a trip down memory lane, see more of Drew Struzan's work at his site.