If I were to list the criteria for my ideal project, creating a sculpture of Tadzio, the young boy from Death in Venice, for a Criterion release of Luchino Visconti’s adaptation would just about tick off all the boxes. Firstly, I love cinema, and that particular film is especially and uniquely beautiful. Secondly, although I am known primarily for my illustrations, I love working in 3D, and my current passion is for sculpture. Thirdly, I love the patina of aging bronzes, and in fact I collect images of favorite sculptures, mostly from Italy, mostly from cemeteries. And last but not least, I love Venice . . . but then again, who doesn’t?
So when Criterion reached out last year and said they’d like me to work on Tadzio, and to make him appear as though he were decaying, not only did I think that was a great idea for the Blu-ray and DVD cover, I also knew I was in my element. Tadzio represents an idealization of beauty, and the film’s main theme is the death of that ideal. So to have him pictured as a bronze sculpture that has weathered, patinated, and corroded over many years seemed like a good way to create the perfect image. I was raring to go.
Capturing Arsenic and Old Lace, in One Macabre Image
To capture the spirit of Frank Capra’s dark screwball classic, Criterion enlisted a longtime collaborator to create an image that combines the influences of Old Hollywood illustrator Jacques Kapralik and legendary pen-and-ink artist Edward Gorey.
The Artistic Synthesis That Gave Bloom to Our Exotica Cover
For this new illustration, Spanish artist David de las Heras combined his signature use of bold colors with the lush style of French postimpressionist Henri Rousseau, a key visual influence on Atom Egoyan’s 1994 film.
David Plunkert Shares His Passion for Color and Shape
The graphic designer behind our covers for Diabolique and The Tin Drum takes us inside his Baltimore studio and his idea-driven creative process.
Artist Sean Phillips on His Many-Sided Craft, from Comics to Criterion Covers
The man behind the artwork for Sweet Smell of Success, In the Heat of the Night, and several other Criterion editions discusses his career in narrative comics and the inspiration he draws from illustration styles of the past.
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