Oeuvre – Drew Struzan

It must have been only last year when The Art of Drew Struzan book hit shelves. It was a wonderful insight into some of the biggest projects that the artist was commissioned to work on. We also got a look at some of the work that remained unpublished in some of the campaigns he worked on, as well as some of the rough sketches he compiled.

And yet the book felt very light. There was clearly many projects missing that the artist was well known for. Despite being happy with the purchase I still yearned for a day when something more complete would come along.  Little did I know that I had only a year or so to wait! And here it is: Oeuvre!

Yes Drew clearly must have had a similar thought – right to the point where he actually named the book with a word that encapsulates it all. Most of the words in this book are in the introduction, with a few more at the start of each section in the book. Aside from that it is uninterrupted artwork.

George Lucas has been kind enough to provide a Forward before Struzan introduces the volume. The book is then divided up into sections Music; Movies; Publishings; Commercial and Personal.

The Music section is fairly brisk before the Movies chapter kicks in to the type of work most people will be familiar with – Harry Potter, Star Wars, Back to the Future, Indiana Jones etc. It’s all beautiful stuff, but also includes campaigns for many films readers may not recognise (this reviewer spent a few moments taking a trip to the back of the book to discover what some of these films were as each poster comes without the poster titles or credits – just pure Drew!)

The Publishings and Commercial work is fairly similar to the Movies section as it is work used for that medium, but in the advertising and general publishing sense. A few collage paintings here and there, alternative artwork of movies and also caricature posters as well appear. Struzan must have got to know Harrison Ford’s face very well over the 80s!

The biggest surprise comes in the latter chapter, Personal where we get Struzan’s home based efforts. It’s a completely different sort of artwork incorporating painting and photography – and what almost looks like an early style of rotoscoping in some. Everything from nudes to abstracts are here – and very little of it bares any resemblance to his poster work. It’s yet further insight into a well known artist’s talents.

Anyone with any doubt about whether to make this purchase (especially if they already own The Art of…) can be put to rest knowing that this book is well worth owning as well.

Steven Hurst

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