Reviews, articles, rants & ramblings on the darker side of the media fringe

The Art of Bob Peak

Peak-Movie_Apocalypse-NowAnyone who’s visited this blog over the last few years would know I have a passion for Poster Art. Great news this week with the announcement of the release of The Art Of Bob Peak which celebrates the works of one of the world’s most legendary movie poster artists, edited and annotated by his son Thomas Peak.

Peak casts a huge shadow across the worlds of popular illustration and graphic design, and his influence is also felt in comics. His style and innovations echo through the work of Jim Steranko, Howard Chaykin and Bill Sienkiewicz, three of the most groundbreaking artists ever to produce sequential art.

Bob-Peak_Star-Trek-The-Motion-PicturePeak himself actually got his start as a cartoonist, providing strips for his college newspaper before becoming one of America’s most in-demand illustrators, and this book covers his career from those early gag panels through to his last painted masterpieces.

Bob Peak’s use of hue and shape to call attention to specific figures, and his knack for dropping out color and detail to sharpen focus are just a couple of his compositional hallmarks. His figures race forward and almost vibrate apart, separating into component tones and lines – the motion pulls the viewer’s eye across the page, and the kinetic combination of textures gives these images a depth and character that goes beyond any that could emerge from more realistic styles of depiction.

Bob-Peak_RollerballAnd nearly all of Peak’s iconic works are represented in this collection. From his Coke promotions to his posters for My Fair Lady, Camelot, Modesty Blaise, Superman, and countless other films, to the abstract motion of his sports illustrations and the stark graphic nature of his airline commissions, it’s all here, and all stunning.

Tom Peak has crafted a fitting tribute to his father’s creative prowess, but he’s also provided an invaluable service for scholars, pop culture historians, designers, and art aficionados. This is rewarding reading for anybody with an interest in American visual culture, or for anyone who simply likes to look at beautiful pictures.

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