Movie posters are known for being one of the most popular collectibles among movie lovers. What is the secret of their undying popularity? Maybe it is the mixture of their beautiful design, the fact that they are independent works of art, the popularity of the movies and the sweet nostalgia they carry with them.
The market value of certain movie posters rapidly increased during the past decades. The fact remains that movie posters are so popular among the collectors for various reasons. Even though, the artwork of these posters is what provides them constant popularity and makes them become valuable items on the market.
Style and visual art
Style of the movie posters frequently changed throughout the decades. Today we can easily recognize whether the poster is from the 30’, 50’ or 60’. Usually, the style of these posters corresponded to the general tendencies in the visual arts of the time. Bauhaus made its strong impact on the style of the movie posters, as well as some other art movements did. Noticing this, we should have in mind that artists that were hired for designing movie posters were usually already highly acknowledged visual artists. These artists already belonged to the certain art communities and movements, hence they brought different art school styles to the movie posters.
Phenomena of movie star
Different artistic movements are not the sole cause for such a variety between movie poster styles. In its early era, the film was not fully acknowledged as an art form. This was the cause of one phenomena that we can hardly imagine today – there were no movie stars. In the years of the birth of the cinema, actors were proud of their roles in theater, not by their roles on the screen. This is why actors of that period did not want to be signed as the participants in the movies. Due to this early posters did not include faces or names of the actors. Having a movie star face on the poster is a much later trend.
Many art lovers today admire the talent of the old movie posters artists, but sometimes it gets very hard to find the names of these authors- even for those passionate researches. This is also due to the one of early polices in American film production. In the beginning of XX century, American film community didn’t care a great deal about movie poster artists. This way a large number of these artworks remained unaccredited for. Luckily, this was not the case with European film community.
The art of the movie posters established itself through the years as the way for painters or comic drawers to leave yet another respectable artistic footprint. Movie posters were also a highly successful way for artists to celebrate and popularize their style. As these tendencies grew, a new style of visual art found its place on movie posters – the conceptual art. Mentioning conceptual art cannot go without mentioning Frank Frazetta – a concept artist who made a remarkable imprint in the history of movie posters, thanks to his unique and recognizable style. Besides Frazetta, many other artists earned worldwide fame as the movie poster illustrators. We can always easily recognize the styles of Reynold Brown, Frank McCarthy, Renato Casaro, John Alvin, Bill Gold, Robert McGinnis and Saul Bass on the movie posters.
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