In the hunt to identify the artist behind the High Plains Drifter paperback novel, I became friends with Thomas Nixdorf from Germany, an expert and collector of original film art. Thomas also contacted me this morning and sent me through a couple of extraordinary images. Here are a few examples of artist Victor Gadino’s proposed movie poster artwork for Clint’s Escape from Alcatraz (1979). These early concepts are incredibly rich in detail, and while I am still a huge fan of the finished art by Birney Lettick (the one sheet is displayed over my stairs) you have to wonder how these great images by Victor Gadino didn’t make it.
Some Background on Birney Lettick
Birney Lettick was a commercial artist whose portraits frequently appeared on the cover of Time magazine, sadly Lettick died in October 1986 at his Manhattan home, he was 67 years old. Lettick's illustrations appeared in numerous magazines, as well as in advertisements and several movie posters. His work appeared at the Brooklyn Museum and the National Portrait Gallery. His final painting was a portrait of President Reagan that appeared on the cover of the July 7, 1986, edition of Time. He was born in New Haven, and was a graduate of Yale University. While serving with the Army in World War II, he participated in the Normandy invasion.
Victor Gadino is an award-winning artist who holds an MFA from Pratt Institute. His work has appeared in the promotion of the top clients of the corporate, publishing, and entertainment worlds, such as; Sony, Seagrams, RJ Reynolds, American Express, General Foods, Playboy, Hearst, Random House, Harper Collins, NBC, Time Warner, Paramount, United Artists, MGM, Lucas Films, Disney, and Universal, to name a few.
Awards received include one from The Hollywood Reporter for his work on prominent movie posters. He received the second place drawing award in the Art Renewal Center's 2009 Annual International Competition. He has created album covers for various artists, posters for Broadway plays, and collectables for the Bradford Exchange, and Franklin Mint.
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His work has been featured in publications including; Communication Art’s Illustration Annual 50 for which he won an Award of Excellence, Society of Illustrators Annual 43, Direct Art Magazine Volume 14, Aphrodisia II -The Art of the Female Form, Treasures from the Permanent Collection of the Leslie Lohman Foundation-All Saints Press, Powerfully Beautiful- Firehouse Studio Publication, and Dirty Little Drawings, and Stripped published by Bruno Gmunder.
He accepts portrait commissions and his work can be found in the collections of George Lucas, Clint Eastwood, Alan Alda, Mr and Mrs Andrew Tisch, Mr and Mrs. Henry Kravis and other prominent New York City families.
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These wonderful concept drawings are a fine example of Gadino’s incredible talent. I must thank Thomas for these wonderful shares. Both of the images (above) are from The Nixdorf Collection - James Bond Poster & Art Archive. Thomas is a serious collector of Original Poster Art, that’s the ‘original art’, the actual paintings by the artists that were used to produce the final film poster. As you may have gathered, Thomas also collects alternative and unused art. So should you have any in your attic, cellar or loft, I’m sure Thomas would be very interested. Please contact him either through his Facebook page or you can contact me by leaving a comment below which I will pass directly on to him.