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Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (2)  | Trivia (3)  | Personal Quotes (7)

Overview (3)

Born in Hyannis, Massachusetts, USA
Died in Rhinebeck, New York, USA  (heart attack)
Birth NameJohn Henry Alvin

Mini Bio (1)

John Alvin is the entertainment industry's preeminent designer and illustrator of film posters. From "Blazing Saddles" to "E.T." to "The Lion King," John has designed and illustrated some of the world's most recognized film posters. His poster for "The Phantom of the Paradise" was exhibited in the Smithsonian Museum as one of the best posters of the Twentieth Century.

John has created award-winning posters for films including "Beauty and the Beast," "Aladdin," "Star Trek VI," "Dark Man," "Arachnophobia," "Cocoon," "The Lost Boys," "Batman Returns," "Batman Forever," "Willow," "Blade Runner" and "Legend." John's art has such a strong identity with the films they promote that they are also used to advertise the films' re-releases and video covers. John has developed a very loyal following among collectors of film poster art, making his original paintings and signed posters among the most sought after pieces of movie memorabilia. He belongs to a very short list of film poster artists such as Richard Amsel and Bob Peak whose works have become icons of Hollywood's visual history.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Spouse (1)

Andrea Alvin (29 May 1971 - 6 February 2008) ( his death) ( 1 child)

Trade Mark (2)

His posters incorporate light and shadow to bring special atmosphere to the image.
He created posters for Disney animated films and Steven Spielberg films.

Trivia (3)

Graduated from the Art Center College of Design (Los Angeles) in 1971.
His daughter, Farah Alvin, is an actress. [February 2008]
His favourite novel is C.S. Lewis's "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe". He was delighted to design the poster for the novel's film adaptation The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005).

Personal Quotes (7)

For me as an artist, I know that whether I do really good art or not for a film, sometimes I'm riding the coattails of the film, and that's all right. It's okay that people would notice my art because it's a hugely successful film. And sometimes one ends up doing great artwork for films that aren't successful, and the artwork therefore doesn't get recognized. I think that movies are such a fabulous, unique, and emotional product and experience that sometimes we all get swept along to everyone's benefit and sometimes we all get trampled. In all the work that I've done, I've been very fortunate to have worked with good people, and sometimes directly, most times indirectly, with great filmmakers.
Blade Runner (1982)'s poster is something I will always show with great pride. I make sure everybody knows that the name on the "Blade Runner" art is Alvin. Always has been, always will be.
I've been very privileged to do a lot of work for Disney on some of their films over the last ten years and those are pieces I show with great pride. I've been able to take the subject of the film, let's say Beauty and the Beast (1991) or The Lion King (1994), and elevate it way, way beyond just a scene from the film or a single animated cel to almost a mythological or allegorical kind of view. Which I think is appropriate, I mean the power and dynamics of Disney animation is just unparalleled. No one comes close.
There is something pleasing about animated films in that the animated film is artwork, per say as opposed to photography.
On his The Lion King (1994) poster: I should say for clarity and in all fairness, the bottom part of that with all the animals is really a wonderfully enhanced frame of film from the feature and if I'm not mistaken , an artist at Disney, whom I do not know, actually did the enhancement. I did the huge lion in the sky and all that sort of larger-than-life kind of stuff that I tend to do, and originally it was just a bare landscape down below with a lion on Pride Rock in my painting. And the bottom part there with all the fine animals was literally computer assembled. In the final analysis, it's what Jeffrey Katzenberg wanted to see. He was still at Disney at the time. And it made a really fine combination. I was glad to see they used the lion alone in other things and for many other uses. But proper credit where it is due, I did the top part.
On being a poster artist: it's such a strange profession. I mean, I could down-play it and be humble with you and say I just work in advertising but the truth is this is the closest I could get to the movies I've loved all my life. I'm not an actor. I'm not a writer. But I get to do this stuff, and I've had some wonderful opportunities and I've taken advantage of those.
I've done a lot of specialized work for George Lucas and for the "Star Wars" saga. I'm sorry to say, I've never been in the right place at the right time to do a one-sheet for any of the films during their release, but rather for anniversary pieces or specialty celebration pieces through the international fan club and stuff like that. And I'm pleased to say that George Lucas has a variety of my paintings in his personal collection so I'm in good company there with people like Norman Rockwell. And I'm very grateful to Mr. Lucas that he 's responded to some of the stuff and has chosen to acquire it. You have to imagine how nice it is to have the guy that inspired the very stuff I'm painting, to have him respond to it and want to have it. I mean that's cool! He's a very generous man and a very talented, very intelligent man and I'm most flattered that he has that interest in my work.

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