Tom Whalen‘s works need no explanation. His art is openly inspired by one of the most remarkable and memorable graphic designers of the mid-20th century, Saul Bass. In his career that stretches over 40 years he dedicated his legendary talent, his passion and commitment to the cinematographic industry. Besides having worked with Alfred Hitchcock, Otto Preminger, John Frankenheimer and Martin Scorsese, Saul Bass provided an endless list of movie title sequences for Otto Preminger’s The Man with the Golden Arm (1955), Around the World in Eighty Days (1956), Vertigo (1958), Psycho (1960), North by Northwest (1959), West Side Story (1961), It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963), Goodfellas (1990) and Casino (1995).
Once Saul said “I want everything we do to be beautiful. I don’t give a damn whether the client understands that that’s worth anything, or that the client thinks it’s worth anything, or whether it is worth anything. It’s worth it to me. It’s the way I want to live my life. I want to make beautiful things, even if nobody cares”. Saul Bass proved that the intricate system of cinematographic market could be reinvented by works of graphic design capable of being accepted as authentic forms of Art.
Deeply enthralled by Saul’s lesson and Russian constructivism and “raised by feral robot wolves in the backwoods of northeastern Pennsylvania”, 37-year old illustrator and designer Tom Whalen keeps evolving his peculiar style and technique. The exceptional vividness of colour, its directness and precision blend with the imagination of an artist who has manifestly learnt a lot about movies and comic books.
Dumbo (24″x36″ screen print. Hand numbered. Edition of 395. Printed by D&L Screenprinting), a new print from Disney poster series, has been released today at a random time ( and sold out a few minutes later).
“the coolest part of these assignments is being able to re-connect with the classic source material. after hunting down a copy of the DVD through amazon (it’s currently in the disney vault), i was amazed at how well this 70-year-old (!) film holds up. it still looks fantastic, carries a huge emotional punch and dazzles with the groundbreaking ‘pink elephants on parade’ sequence”.