"Drama: The Art of Laurent Durieux is one of the exhibitions currently on view at the MIMA Museum!
The Belgian illustrator Laurent Durieux has made the reinterpretation of movie posters his specialty. His offbeat and mesmerizing universe elegantly blends retro-futuristic aesthetic codes with cutting-edge references, and restores the film poster to its status as a work of art. Pop colors, contrasts and an unquestionable sense of detail make Durieux's work as iconic as the originals.
Famous worldwide for his alternative posters of the greatest movie classics and one of Posterissim's favorites, the Belgian illustrator is invited on three floors of the Brussels museum until January 9, 2022. From 2012 to today, more than a hundred works are presented. We visited the exhibition and we invite you to discover it with us! All our photos are in the slideshow at the bottom of the article, and also find our video review in the Reels section on our Instagram page or on Facebook!
MIMA, the Museum of Contemporary Images, likes to offer what we don't usually see elsewhere, it advocates alternative art and counterculture. When talking about the exhibition "Drama": The Art of Laurent Durieux, Raphaël Cruyt, the curator of the exhibition explains: the artist's works and his work on dramaturgy take on their full meaning when you know the film and what makes it so good. You have to look at the poster to see the details and understand what it is telling us.
In an interview, Laurent Durieux confirms this point of view. He explains that he indeed tries to join the vision of the director and to understand the second level of reading of the film in order to propose a fresher, more pointed and more artistic vision. For him, art has disappeared from movie posters for about fifty years, to the benefit of commercial visuals and it is then a question of putting art back into the poster on the one hand, and to give the public the desire to see or see a movie again on the other hand.
Beyond graphics and illustration, he compares his work to that of an author. By dissecting and analyzing the scenario in search of its narrative or graphic potential, he draws out all the elements in order to not only penetrate the director's universe, but also to propose another story that belongs to the narrative, from a different point of view. Composition, light and above all mystery, such are the elements of a good poster for Laurent Durieux: it must above all question the spectator.
In adequacy with who he is and with his aesthetic, each new poster is exciting for him. He imposes himself to like the films he works on in order to be sure he can bring something to them. He is influenced by everything and will draw from everything related to the poster: photographs, paintings, American illustrators of the 30s such as Petrucelli, or even contemporary comics such as Moebius...
Laurent Durieux's first big success was the alternative poster for Jaws. He explains that "the original poster is iconic, very strong, very powerful". He then decided to move the action completely and make it "the most boring image possible", whose plot is revealed by one of the visual twists he has the secret. A beach, the seaside, bathers... It is on one of the parasol's quarters that the poster reveals the black, heavy and threatening shadow of the shark's fin, which nobody sees but which hovers over the crowd. "What's scary in this film is what you don't see": he transcribes this intention on his poster, and conveys the message of man's pretentiousness in thinking that nature can be tamed without risk. Spielberg, delighted, discovers the poster and orders twenty of them for his relatives!
Francis Ford Coppola, one of the artist's favorite directors, waited three years for his first request before finally being able to collaborate with Laurent Durieux, whose calendar is particularly coveted. In the exchange and communication, they work on a whole series from the catalog of the director and give birth to rereadings of Tucker, Apocalypse Now, or Cotton Club ... A fruitful association since the visuals of Durieux are even today on the bottles of wine Coppola!
He began his career in 1994 in graphic design and brand image without a precise artistic direction. For more than ten years, he has been offering work that could be situated between nostalgia and modernity. Now recognized as a true poster artist, he works mainly on commission: galleries, majors, and even directly from directors. Recognizing himself in the notion of popular art, he never accepts private commissions. His works are not reserved for an elite and have for main vocation to be diffused.
And if you want to have a Laurent Durieux work in your home all year round, go to www.posterissim.com - you will surely recognize some of the posters from the exhibition on our site in the "Alternative posters" section or in the one dedicated to the artist!
Do not hesitate to tell us in the comments what you thought of this article, and see you soon on the Posterissim Blog!