Unusual modern Houdini posters -- not classic reprints

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Postby Ted M » 05/29/08 07:55 PM

Today I stumbled across this gigposter prominently featuring Harry Houdini advertising a show by a band called the Detroit Cobras at the Majestic Theater in Detroit where, the designer says, "Harry Houdini played his final show at the Majestic Theatre (not the Garrick) in Detroit." This seems at odds with wikipedia, but alas, I don't have my !!! volume by Silverman at hand to verify. Nevertheless, here's the poster:

http://gigposters.com/classifieds/detai ... iteid=6384

Some further poking around the same site yielded another nifty modern Houdini poster: this unusually angled, stylized portrait:

http://gigposters.com/classifieds/detai ... iteid=6518

The first one appears (to me, anyway) to be a composite illustration drawn from two separate sources: the body is from the well-known photograph used on the cover of Silverman's !!! bio, and while I can't place the reference image for the face it looks very familiar.

I'm not at all familiar with any reference image for the second one. Does anyone recognize it?

Both are pretty nifty, imho.

- Ted
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/29/08 08:53 PM

As stated on the website, these are newly-produced artworks.
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Postby Ted M » 05/30/08 01:06 PM

Yes, new works, newly drawn. I don't think I indicated otherwise.

Artists often draw from models -- live, photographic or other. I was intrigued that I recognized the exact photograph employed as model for Houdini's body in the first poster...

...but the artist chose to replace young Houdini's face with a somewhat more widely recognizable Houdini's face, from a time when he was older. That's an interesting artistic choice.

So in this new work we have perhaps the most famously iconic Houdini body/pose newly joined with an older, more intensely iconic Houdini face. This young + old composite is arguably more intensely Houdini than Houdini himself!

It reminds me of, say, Kenneth Branagh's hyper-complete Hamlet film (1996) which was billed as "uncut". Textual evidence from surviving copies of the plays indicates that the play changed over time, adding new scenes while also dropping others -- so Branagh's version turns out not to be a restoration of a Hamlet that was ever historically performed. Rather, it's a new composite of all the scenes known to have been written for Hamlet -- and so, from certain perspectives, Branagh's new construction ends up more intensely Hamlet than Hamlet itself.

I didn't mention this before, but I also definitely like the newspaper story text in the background.

- Ted
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Postby Bill Mullins » 05/30/08 01:40 PM

The face looks to be a mirror-flip of the image on this page.
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