Superheroes have been portrayed in every possible light, with artists even creating mashups of superheroes and Angry Birds. We have also seen the superhero-asterisk combination, not to mention a grandma living her superhero dream.
Just when I thought that I would not see anything new and interesting about superhero art any time soon, I discovered the work of Grégoire Guillemin, a French artist. One of his collections feature superhero posters which are inspired by art deco, the artistic/design style that has its roots in Paris. If you know next to zilch about art deco (like me), this description from Wikipedia should help.1
Art Deco is characterized by use of materials such as aluminium, stainless steel, lacquer, Bakelite, Chrome and inlaid wood. Exotic materials such as sharkskin (shagreen), and zebra skin were also evident. The use of stepped forms and geometric curves (unlike the sinuous, natural curves of Art Nouveau), chevron patterns, ziggurat-shapes, fountains, and the sunburst motif are typical of Art Deco. Some of these motifs were ubiquitous – for example, sunburst motifs were used in such varied contexts as women’s shoes, radiator grilles, radio and clock faces, the auditorium of the Radio City Music Hall, and the spire of the Chrysler Building.
Now on the good stuff – the art deco superhero posters. Guillemin has included the many of the usual suspects, although the absence of Superman and Spiderman cannot be ignored. That being said, the posters are, if not exactly my kind of thing, very attention grabbing. See for yourself.
So what do you think of the art deco influence? Does it take anything away from the “superhero-ness” of the characters or does it work otherwise? Which one grabs your attention the most? (It’s Silver Surfer for me.)
See more of the art deco superhero posters on Guillemin’s page.