John Alvin 1948-2008

“Cinema” mixed media on paper applied to board by John Alvin
A year ago yesterday John Alvin passed away unexpectedly. Alvin was an artist of unimaginable skill, incomparable perception and unique sensitivity. His work for all of the major film studios and directors of the past 34 years has been lauded as that of a truly independent and great artist. Following in the paths of many of the great graphic artists such as N.C. Wyeth, Alphonse Mucha, Toulouse-Lautrec and Norman Rockwell, Alvin forged his own path, always ‘creating the promise of a great experience.’

In 1975, the young artist’s poster for “Phantom of the Paradise” was included in the landmark Smithsonian National Collection of Fine Art exhibition, Images of an Era: The American Poster 1945-1975. The exhibition and its accompanying catalogue raisonne delineated and defined the graphic arts as an uniquely American fine art. To view the catalogue now is to witness the emergence and confirmation of many of the great artists of the post-war American era.

Alvin toiled in the murky and turbulent waters of the movie industry. He liked to say that the right hand never knew what the left hand was doing and even worse, the right hand didn’t care if it knew or not. After a career that included creating the visual campaigns for more top ten grossing and top ten most popular (per Entertainment Weekly) movies of the 20th century, Alvin and his incredibly talented wife, Andrea moved to upstate New York to be closer to their daughter, the Broadway star and amazing singer, Farah. He spent the last years of his life creating art for exhibitions in art galleries around the country and occasionally consulting on projects for films.

The intervening year since his death has moved by quickly (and amazingly slowly) and the loss is still greatly felt by his friends who knew and loved him.


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© Robert Patrick, and Cultivar, 2008-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, photographs and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Robert Patrick and Cultivar with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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