Posted on Friday, November 9th, 2018 by Jacob Hall
Laurent Durieux belongs on the short list of the best pop culture artists working today. His classical style, his subtle wit, and his attention to detail lead to posters that are often astonishing to behold.
Austin’s Mondo Gallery is playing host to Durieux’s latest gallery show, titled “The Art of Laurent Durieux Part Two”, which opens today and runs through November 17. We got in touch with Durieux and he supplied us with the inspirations behind and origins of every print on display and for sale at the show, including posters for Planet of the Apes, Ghostbusters, Apocalypse Now, The Shining, and more.
Conan the Barbarian
“It was first a commission from Milan Records France, whom I had worked with before for Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence and Oldboy soundtracks LP artworks. It’s also one of the first, if not the first movie I watched in a theater as a kid and it left a great impression on me. I was scared that when I had to re-watch it to do the poster, the movie would have aged badly, but it really didn’t. It was just as awesome for a 48 year old guy as it was for an 11 year old boy.”
Planet of the Apes
“Believe it or not, as a kid, I collected the Planet of the Apes figurines. The TV shows were very popular in Europe in the late ’70s. So when I was asked to chose the movies, choosing POTA was a no-brainer to me. I had to do it. I re-watched it again, and just like Conan, it is still as great a movie today as it was 40 years ago.”
“This movie is in my top five best science fiction movies of all time (along with Blade Runner, Alien, Gattaca and Star Wars). The scenario is perfect – everything in this movie is just first rate. I think it will be regarded as a masterpiece of anticipation fiction (like Netflix’s Black Mirror) in a few years. The idea for my poster was to illustrate the fact that Caleb found himself prisoner of Ava’s manipulative intelligence. Like we could all be very soon with AI…or aren’t we already?”
“I was done with my show and Mondo’s Mitch Putnam contacted me to see if we could add a true geek film to the list. So I did it. It’s always a personal challenge for me to tackle movies that are so popular you would almost choke. It’s not my favourite movie as it is, I’m sure, for many younger folks, but it’s pretty cool and it does remind me of my teenage years way back when.”
“I don’t usually like horror movies, but here, it’s so much more than that. What could I say? Kubrick’s masterpiece of horror is a genuine masterpiece indeed. Its one of those you can watch a hundred times and discover new things, new details you hadn’t noticed before. There are so many layers on this film, that I think I could have made 10 different posters for it. The typewriter/axe project was originally done as a concept sketch for one of my fans who attended either MondoCon or ThoughtBubble in Leeds and I always loved it. There are quite a lot of existing projects with the typewriter out there, but I somehow managed to come up with something no one had thought of before.”
“Here is an iconic sequence from the film. I couldn’t really do anything for The Shining and not use this scene. The image without the door of Room 237 hidden on the tricycle back seat wouldn’t be interesting at all. I’m not sure people will see the idea straight away, but just like my Jaws poster, it’s hiding in plain view.”
“Three years ago, I was contacted by Francis Ford Coppola’s collaborator to ask me if I would be interested in designing/creating the visual for a steel box edition of the film. I had to turn down the offer as my schedule wasn’t allowing me to do it and told them that they probably would have to wait a couple of years before I could get to it. I was expecting them to tell me, “Well, okay, we’ll find someone else who could do it for us quicker”, but to my surprise, they said “Mr. Coppola will wait.” Apparently, Francis didn’t want anyone else but me to tackle his masterpiece of a film. What an honor!”
“This was a convention sketch commission done during Thought Bubble in Leeds. I showed it to Eric Garza right then and asked if they could get the license for it, as there are plenty of Titanic fans out there. You know who you are. Yes, you there with the badass tattoos! I love the movie, period. I thought the idea was pretty cool and witty. That’s our job as creators to bring new interpretations on films.”
“This was originally commissioned by Milan Records France to design the artwork for the LP/CD soundtrack. I had never seen the movie before that and I loved it! Steve Buscemi alone was a good reason enough for me to do it. I love the atmosphere of this film and love the director, Jim Jarmusch. Mystery Train is one of those films that stay with you for many years after you’ve watched it.”
Elevator to the Gallows
“This image was originally commissioned by Milan Records France for a fantastic re-edtion of the Miles Davis soundtrack to Elevator to the Gallows. I had this perfect idea with the jacket cover and dust jacket, but this will never happen as the folks at Milan told me (way too late when the art was finished) that they didn’t get the license to publish it after all. Being my favorite piece of the lot, I just couldn’t bring myself to not print it or show it to people. So Mondo was very happy to make it available as an art print and that’s awesome! I LOVE THIS FILM NOIR MOVIE! If you have never watched it, please do yourself a favor.”
Tucker: The Man and His Dream
“I have a passion for vintage cars, even moreso for vintage cars that has a retro-futuristic look. I first saw this movie when it came out in the late ’80s and loved it. Martin Landau has one of his best roles ever, if you ask me. I’m not even going to talk about Jeff Bridges who is, like in all of his movies, great! This poster/image was originally commissioned by Francis Ford Coppola’s winery, as they wanted it for their Director’s Series wine label.”
“The Art of Laurent Durieux Part Two” is open to the public at the Mondo Gallery, located at 4115 Guadalupe Street in Austin, Texas. Posters that don’t sell out during the gallery’s initial run will go on sale online at a later date.
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