Book Review: Drew & Dylan Struzan’s “Oeuvre”

Scarcely is an artist’s work as instantly recognizable as that of Drew Struzan.  His painting style is the modern equivalent to Michaelangelo on the pop culture landscape.  HIs biggest break outs were the stylish posters for Star Wars, and then later, Indiana Jones for George Lucas, who provides the forward here, commenting on the work of his favorite artist.  I’m inclined to agree with his comments, that in 1,000 years, people will look at Drew’s work and whether they know much of the explanation or not, will be captivated and mystified by his paintings.

Released earlier this month from Titan Books, Oeuvre is a compendium of the best of Drew’s works, from his theatrical posters, to extra paintings he’s done of some of his most famous concepts, famous album artwork, down to his personal artwork that he paints for himself, even plates he painted of famous celebrities.  Having made his name as the premiere post artist of the past century, Struzan is to the point in his career where he doesn’t need to take any job, he does simply when it’s right.

Far different from the 1980’s, where Drew did the posters for such movies as E.T., Blade Runner, the bulk of the  Police Academy series, Johnny Dangerously, The Goonies, Big Trouble in Little China, Adventures in Babysitting, The Back to the Future Trilogy, Hook, Harlem Nights, The Muppets, Masters of the Universe, and into the 90’s with posters for The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, in addition to posters for children’s fare like both of The Flintstones live action movies, as well as Duck Tales: The Movie and all the Star Wars prequels.  In recent years, he has done posters for Hellboy, The Mist, and Zathura.

The full list is on display here, in fact, the text pages take up very little space in the nice, wide, glossy hardbound cover.  Most of the texts concerns Drew explaining his art, how he got into the field, how he met George Lucas, and what he tries to do with every assignment he was given.  Having done such a wide array of films, from major Hollywood blockbusters to minor independent B-films, Struzan’s work covers the vast array beautifully.

Not every piece of work is in this book, but a very good amount appear right here in these wonderfully reproduced pages.  Each one could be framed on its own, speaking to the work of Struzan as an artist.  Wonderfully unique, but with that ever-recognizable style that sticks out in a way that is unreproducible by anyone else.

For fans of the aforementioned movies, (and really, who doesn’t have at least one favorite movie on that list?), this book is a wonderful treat.  It’s a joy to flip through the pages and see bright, slick posters for a large majority of America’s favorite movies from the past 25 years.  For everyone that could care less about The Muppets, there is the amazing poster of The Thing.  It’s all here, you just have to check it out.


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