Thursday, October 18, 2007

Thomas Allen Lecture

Last night I saw Thomas Allen give a presentation of his work leading up to his newly released book, Uncovered, designed by Chip Kidd, at the Aperture Gallery.

It's easy to look at pulp covers as kitsch and yet Allen clearly shows a love for the art and the story-telling abilities of illustration. His work is witty without mocking the artwork as he cuts and folds them into new stories and experiences.

Between Allen’s work, Red Nose, and others like them, I have come to realize that I really like to see the seams. In an era where I assume everything is digitally enhanced, it's nice to see the faint outlines and tiny nicks from Allen’s knife. And all of the creases and frayed edges of the actual books is a great contrast to his meticulous lighting and sparse compositions.

While there I ran into Charles Ardai, publisher of Hard Case Crime, which made perfect sense given the great homage to pulp art that their covers are.

And if you wanna see something really cool, check out this Francis Ford Coppola sponsored magazine, Zoetrope All-Story, guest designed by Chip Kidd. At the lecture Kidd explained that he was asked to do the project pro bono and decided to use only Allen’s work throughout without asking him to create new work, since there was no budget and little time. The result looks stunning.


Allen and Kidd
, "Fathom", spread from Zoetrope All-Story


Carl V. Anderson said...

Thomas Allen is an amazing talent and on top of that is an extremely nice guy. And his new book, Uncovered, is wonderful.

daren bader said...

wow, those are CRAZY cool. I'm a sucker for strong clean design, but mix in the originality of the materials and it's twice as impressive. I'll have to check out his book. Thanks!

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