Todd Slater: Amazing Poster Dude
Hey there! This week’s post is light, but where it lacks in word count it makes up for with amazing visuals. Presenting the artwork of Todd Slater.
Out of Austin, Texas, Todd Slater started making his amazing posters back in 2003 doing work for artists such as Arcade Fire, Radiohead, The Killers, Neil Young, Bob Dylan and Cat Power. He has even done posters for some TV series and movies, ones that mostly have a cult following. For example, he did posters for Lost, The Big Lebowski and Lost in Translation. He really knows how to take the essence of a band, show or movie and translate it into a vibe, a feeling and then into a work of visual art. I adore his aesthetic.
The Cat Power poster, above, is one I once owned, but lost during a move, which still makes me utterly sad to think about today. It was a gorgeous print on navy blue paper that had a slightly silvery simmer to it and one of the inks used to print was a silver metallic. (sigh) If you’ve heard Cat Power’s music you know it’s nostalgic and maybe even a bit folky. The woman watching TV is actually Cat Power as her younger self watching Bob Dylan on his guitar strumming love and protest songs with an early southern-ballad sincerity and style.
The Big Lebowski is one of my favorite movies of all time. It has a fantastic set of characters and is unpredictable and original in a very unoriginal world. Jeff Bridges, who plays the Dude, and John Goodman’s character, Walter, steal the show. Note that I am giggling as I type this. You might need a special sense of humor to appreciate these, but for the ones that do, Todd’s rendition is amazing. If you haven’t seen the movie, there is a running joke about the Dude’s rug, which Todd uses as the base for his BL poster designs. Refer to the videos below to bring it all together.
This poster captures Lady Tron’s sound of being sexy while playing in somewhat of a fantasy. She’s electro, modern and forward while dancing along the lines of some of the best 80’s pop ballads, which is why hot pink with red fits so well.
Bill Murry’s Lost in Translation is also a cult sensation. The story revolves around a famous middle-aged man doing commercials in Japan. The movie makes you feel the way one might feel in a foreign country surrounded by people you have little in common with. The poster does a fine job at translating that. It’s muted, almost empty, and somewhat dark. Bill Murray’s expression brings home the feeling of being lost.
It’s interesting that Todd choose an elephant for this poster. While I can’t say for certain why he did, I have an idea. I always thought that the singer of Interpol had a wise quality about him. His voice is deep and his delivery is filled with knowing. The spider webs represent the world that all of us, even the wise ones, get trapped in.
Arcade Fire is goose bump-inducing awesome. They are utterly epic. Their music gives a sense of wonder, and excitement, with an almost youthful quality. Looking out on an open sea with a city view behind you and the unknown adventure in front of you. It may seem dark and scary at first, but it’s exciting at the same time.
OK, if you can’t get with the Black Keys, you and I might have issues. I love their mix of gritty lyrics, amazing musicianship and artful delivery. It’s the way blues rock was meant to be.
The first Black Keys poster is amazing because it makes me think of staying out late with the moonlight turning everything the same color. Maybe the night motivates you into a having a few too many, making the world a bit sketchy, and then going from the bar to home, by yourself, with your friends or maybe a new lover. It’s during those mysterious hours that blues music is inspired by, after all.
The second poster is totally valid as well. The Black Keys mostly feature songs about love gone bad and to some that might seem dark. However, to the few in the know, it’s where art is born. I mean, after all, aren’t Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet, and Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven some of the most revered pieces of literature to date?
Now that I’ve whetted your appetite, check out some of Todd’s other amazing designs. Which ones are your favorite?
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