|"Creating the promise of a great experience" was how John Alvin described his role as artist and one of the preeminent designers and illustrators in the history of cinema art. He was a humble wonderful man with an immense talent who left this world too soon, but the world of movie lovers and savvy art aficionados are the better for his body of work.
We have made great advances in the acceptance and appreciation of film art, both production and interpretive, in the fine art world. That has a been due in part to the
fans of John's work voicing their unshakable belief in the art form, and the artists who have been influenced by him going confidently forward, playing with and expanding on their own aesthetic with a more solid base of collectors--who came to appreciate film art through John's art, as well as the work of Bob Peak, Robert McGinnis, Richard Amsel, Saul Bass, Drew Strezan, and other influential artists in the cinema art genre.
Sadly, the illustrative movie poster is largely a thing of the past. That makes the art of John Alvin and other movie campaign artists all the more important as a way to look back at what made us want to go see (and hope to love) the classic and contemporary movies we have as our shared cultural experience.
John Alvin worked on over 260 movie campaigns, and has over 140 finished posters to his credit. That is more than certainly anyone in recent history, and possibly the most ever, but that's hard to quantify…What we do know is he is part of the reason we love and remember the movies we have seen--
Disney created a name for what John did. It's called "Alvin-izing". Alvinizing is what was needed to be done to images being used in campaigns to give it emotional weight, or make you get emotionally attached in an instant. It's why he got hired so many times by Disney. They felt only John could "Alvin-ize" a campaign, and they wanted his touch.
Having known and loved John as a close friend, we miss his presence in the world. He would have loved seeing film art start being more accessible, appreciated and understood by art and film lovers. He would have loved seeing more of his images being created as limited editions, as Acme, Starwars.com, Collectors Editions, and ArtInsights have done. We are so committed to raising the awareness of film art in general and John's art in particular--to having it be accepted in art collections not just because the collector loves the movie, but because the art speaks for itself. We think John's art does that.
This site was created by us--Michael Barry and Leslie Combemale of ArtInsights Gallery, as a fan site while John was still with us, to show at least a portion of his body of work. It became a wonderful place for fans and friends to come after his unexpected loss in February of 2008. Now that we at ArtInsights are the sole representative of his estate for his family, it is evolving as we can develop it, showing the new limited editions and art being released, and supplying links to our gallery for the ever shrinking collection of original art available for purchase. Since we just redesigned and created our own gallery site, we are adding the originals available there, and adding them to this site when we can.
If you have any stories of meeting John, buying his art "way back when", or questions about film art in general, contact us--hopefully we can put some of them on this site. If you want to see some interviews we did with John, go to this page
or our gallery site.
And. Thanks for your interest in John Alvin's art. He was not a man who made loud noises about his talents, which is partially why He would often joke when someone complimented him or told him he was a genius, "You are clearly someone of great taste and class." and now that's what we say of you, his fans.
ArtInsights Animation and Film Art Gallery/johnalvinart.com