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“On the surface his work simply looks cool, but this shallow analysis misses the irony behind his cultural representations”
When you think of many of this year’s Best Picture nominees, movies like The Revenant, The Martian, and Mad Max share a common theme of strength, resilience, determination, and power. These themes are stunningly carried over into Shutterstock’s pop-art posters this year. Posters featured include Jordan Roland’s Warhol-inspired Mad Max: Fury Road, which offer a take on Warhol’s “subversive dictator portraits to shape this poster of Immortan Joe,” says the artist. In Cristin Burton’s Flirst-inspired Oscar Pop 2016 The Revenant, the poster includes assembled pieces the artist used to “create a vast, sinister, and lonely landscape.”
The pop-art posters include a fun view of movies but also of topics that aren’t so fun. In Flo Lau’s The Big Short, inspired by Keith Haring, the artist chose a comedic approach to the dark subject of the bursting of the 2008 housing bubble.
Flirst is a collage artist who assembles disparate pieces to explore how he can change the harmony of the whole. For my poster, a homage to The Revenant, I assembled pieces to create a vast, sinister, and lonely landscape. The poster features a figure with very few people on his side; this represents the film’s main character, Hugh Glass, who was brutally attacked by a bear and left for dead in the winter wilderness.
“I wanted to portray the same witty chaotic vibe in my poster”
In his “Barcelona” series, Mario Corea Aiello forms a grungy collage of newspaper and magazine cutouts and heavy paint strokes. I felt this style would parallel the vicious storm that left Mark Watney for dead on Mars in The Martian. For the color scheme, I deferred to Eric White’s cover art from the original novel by Andy Weir to capture the characteristics of an otherworldly storm.
My inspiration for this poster is one part Roy Lichtenstein and one part Stefan Sagmeister. Spotlight is about journalists uncovering a massive scandal in one of Boston’s oldest institutions, and I found that the perfectly contradictory homophone “pray/prey” encapsulates the shock and horror felt by the community when this scandal was made public.
To illustrate this, I pixelated an image of a priest, then tore off his head and replaced it with an image of a wolf. I looked to Warhol’s subversive dictator portraits to shape this poster of Immortan Joe.Warhol had a remarkable ability to distract from the meaning of his art. On the surface his work simply looks “cool”.
Mad Max: Fury Road has the same effect: The stylized nature of the film gets more attention than the meaning behind it.
I chose to feature Immortan Joe because he is a terrible person, but his iconic look makes him instantly recognizable. When I first read the plot summary for Room, I envisioned lonely, sterile characters, who had been institutionalized by their secluded environment.
Of course, when I saw the movie that perception quickly changed; the characters are full of life, love, and joy, and the audience instantly empathizes with them on a raw, human level. KAWS’ statues play on a similar deceit. Initially they have a sterile, robotic feel, but when you view them in their human-scale sizes and see their playful aesthetic, you experience an unexpected sense of connection.
“Welcome to the Oscars, Or as some people like to call it, the white people’s choice awards”
The Big Short takes a comedic approach to a dark subject, and I wanted to portray the same witty, chaotic vibe in my poster. Keith Haring was my inspiration because his high-contrast, brightly colored political work, which touches on grim subjects like rape, death, and war, hinges on the same contrast as the film. The poster is based on the film’s alligator-in-an-abandoned-pool scene; the alligator represents the main characters in the movie, who took advantage of the 2008 housing bubble and left the world in desperation when it burst.
I chose to focus on the muddy gray areas and loopholes within Bridge of Spies. The Cold War was fueled by each side’s increasingly dire hypotheticals, causing mass paranoia among citizens and governments alike.
A large part of the film’s narrative focuses on the extent of protection under the law, especially for a Soviet spy. I reimagined Lady Justice, mixing her blindfold with the American and Soviet flags to represent how both countries were tied to their individuals’ principles of justice even while locked in an unending battle for the upper hand. Set in the eponymous 1950s borough, Brooklyn features then-contemporary imagery that now exemplifies the commodification of Brooklyn as a global brand.
Just as the Pop Art movement utilized mass advertising and irony to re-contextualize commercial art, I drew from today’s vintage, artisanal design trends, which are inspired by that era and setting.
In that vein, I applied the animated footage and vector elements to illustrate how the contrasting settings of Brooklyn and Ireland re-contextualized the protagonist’s identity through a fluctuating sense of “home.”
The 88th annual Academy Awards are underway, and viewers are anxiously awaiting the ceremony to find out if their favorite flicks and actors win, which categories will see big “upsets,” and which speeches and performances will stand out. Not to mention how host Chris Rock will approach the “Oscars So White” controversy, and who he will target during the opening monologue. Did Leo finally take home a golden statue? The buzz began during the red carpet events prior to the official event.
Jennifer Jason Leigh, nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for The Hateful Eight, seemed slightly out of it during her interview with Ryan Seacrest on E!’s special. But arguably the biggest surprise was Best Actor nominee Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant) and Best Actress in a Supporting Role nominee Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs) playing to their nostalgic fans by walking the red carpet together. Can you believe it’s been nearly two decades since they starred together in the 1997 blockbuster film Titanic (which took home Best Picture)?
“If hosts were nominated, I wouldn’t be here; instead, you’d have Neil Patrick Harris.”
Rock, who addressed the issues with ease and expected humor, added that he did seriously consider quitting after so many people spoke out and pressured him to do so. “But the last thing I need is to lose another job to Kevin Hart,” he said, as the crowd erupted in laughter (including Hart himself, who was in the audience).
Arguably, the best part of Rock’s monologue was his blatant dig at Jada Pinkett-Smith and her vocal “boycott” of the Oscars. “Isn’t she on a TV show? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties,” he said.