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Oeuvre by Drew & Dylan Struzan

01/11/2011. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts

Buy Oeuvre in the USA - or Buy Oeuvre in the UK

author pic

pub: Titan Books. 314 page illustrated horizontal large hardback. Price: GBP 29.99 (UK), $49.95 (US), $57.00 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-85768-557-5.

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When I reviewed ‘The Art Of Drew Struzan’ last year, I said I’d love to see him his non-poster work. With ‘Oeuvre’, you have just that with material spreading across the commercial world of music, movies, publishing, commercial and personal work. What that really means, often as not, is album covers, portraiture, plates, book covers, game box covers, trading cards and even American stamps. As the Struzans point out, much of the material as sold is no longer available so seeing the source material here, sans blurbs and what have you makes this the raw material. Considering the amount of work he has done for George Lucas and Steven Spielberg on ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Indiana Jones’, there is a large representation of this material. Lucas, by the way, also does an introduction and those are rare but it’s obvious how much he admires Struzan’s work.

What is more surprising is how good Struzan is with other material and there’s several pieces of work based on the original ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Next Generation’ characters as well as many of the early Hollywood icons. If anything, you can get over-whelmed by the amount of material here that it needs more than one sitting to look through. I should point out that this book arrived a few days before the deadline and I suspect this book will fly off the shelf for a certain December celebration so it’s important to plug this book early so you can order a copy or at least ensure its on your loved ones list to get you.

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial © Copyright Universal City Studios, Inc. 1983

Another thing that makes this book interesting is a section devoted to what Stauzan paints when he’s not doing contracted pieces. Nude studies are actually standard form because, at least to me, it’s as much about skin texture and form than appearance. I did find it odd that he didn’t always include the head but that does support the texture theory. Rather oddly, he also paints the direct opposite of his normal work, bringing his subject matter down to its most basic design a lot of the time rather than being too elaborate. This, in itself, shouldn’t be too much of a surprise because there is still a need to paint but not to spend a week or so on expression. Yet, as when some of the latter pieces go to his usual detail, like with his grandchildren, as he says in the text, it is a labour of love.

The Thing © Copyright Universal City Studios, Inc. 1982

With books such as this, even a casual page flick will show the quality of Drew Struzan’s work and the page samples included here really don’t do justice to this massive-sized book. I suspect fans of all the areas he’s worked on will find something to appeal to him here simply because it falls into their taste remit. The fact that the art is free of blurb and rarely spreads across two pages is just an added bonus to loving this book. Don’t miss it.

Harry and the Hendersons © Copyright Universal City Studios, Inc. 1986

The Walking Dead © Copyright AMC 2010

GF Willmetts

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