Illustrators recreate 70s movie posters for Little White Lies exhibition

A new exhibition in London has artists including Joe Wilson, Autumn Whitehurst and Craig Redman recreating classic 70s movie posters by creating some stunning illustrations.

"I love the smell of napalm in the morning"  is one of cinema’s most iconic lines, uttered by actor Robert Duvall as Lt Colonel Kilgore in Francis Ford Coppola’s epic Vietnam war film Apocalypse Now. Although not released until the very end of the 70s, this film’s poster was one of many from the decade to inspire over 20 artists, including Joe Wilson, Autumn Whitehurst and Craig Redman, to create poster art in the style of Little White Lies cover art for a specially-commissioned exhibition by the hip movie magazine.

The LWL70, on at the Kemistry Gallery, Shoreditch, London until July 2, originally came about from a visual feature done for the magazine’s Apocalypse Now issue. Paul Willoughby is the curator of the exhibition, as well as creative director of Little White Lies and The Church Of London agency that produces it. He explained that five of the magazine’s illustrators were asked to produce artwork for covers that Little White Lies might have done in the Seventies, hence the idea for the show.

After selecting the artists they would love to do Little White Lies covers with from over 40 possibles, the next step was to approach them with a brief that included ‘producing an iconic portrait that gives consideration to bespoke typography’. Selecting the films was a collaborative process:

“Each artist was given a list of iconic films of the period, selected by the LWLies team,” said Paul. “Then I asked everyone to choose their top three films, which I cross-referenced to make sure there were no duplicates and finally, I confirmed the film they would illustrate.”

According to Paul, the highlights of the exhibition are Autumn Whitehurst's Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (above) with its stunning colours and subtle typography; Jesse Auersalo's Suspiria (below)with its beautiful eeriness and composition; and David Downton's Tommy (bottom) -- the latter artist David considers to be ‘one of the best mark makers in the world’, which is clearly highlighted by his poster design for the collection.

Even though only a handful of the posters were used as a visual feature in the Apocalypse Now issue, each design can be seen at the London exhibition as a magazine cover mock-up, or viewed online on the Little White Lies website -- and they include one from Paul himself, which evolved from the LWLies issue 35 cover.

The entire art print collection can also be bought as exclusive 40.6 x 50.8cm LWLies logo-embossed prints at the LWL70 exhibition shop.

Below are a couple of our favourites.

Soylent Green by Siggi Eggertsson

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest by Courtney Brims

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