December 24, 2010

The Art of the Bride : Don Ivan Punchatz

A bold Bride faces forward in this gorgeous illustration by Don Ivan Punchatz. A closeup shows Punchatz’ beautiful rendering, with a curious but very effective purple outline to the character. The blowup also reveals that the Bride was manually cut out and pasted onto the background.

The Bride, along with her famous beau, and fellow Universal Monsters The Mummy, Dracula and The Wolf Man, was part of a 1991 “Monster Match” promotion for Pepsi.

I must admit my unbounded admiration for Don Ivan Punchatz (1936-2009), truly one of the great American illustrators of the later half of the Twentieth century. His elegant and powerful art appeared in a surprisingly wide variety of venues. He created beautifully enigmatic covers for science fiction paperbacks, notably Harlan Ellison’s Dangerous Visions and Isaac Asimov’s Foundation. He appeared in Playboy and Time, equally at ease with formal portraits or delightfully eerie metaphorical illustrations. His work would pop up in National Geographic with meticulous renderings of animals, as well as National Lampoon, showing stumblebum president Gerald Ford hitting himself in the forehead with an ice cream cone.

For all the amazing artwork he produced, Punchatz is perhaps most remembered as the creator of the iconic logo and box art for id Software’s Doom.

Punchatz was celebrated by his peers as the first artist to break away from New York where illustrators had traditionally settled so as to stay close to the publishing industry. Punchatz moved to Dallas where his career continued to flourish, going on to create a successful regional studio. Having studied under artist and teacher Burne Hogarth, Punchatz, in turn, mentored young artists, Gary Panter among them.

Now, question... When do we get a comprehensive book of Don Ivan Punchatz’ art?

Punchatz bio on Spectrum, and his New York Times obituary.

1 comment:

Emmy said...

I have loved this Art of the Bride Week. Very fun, and I've seen some pretty awesome art! Thank you, and please do this again! :D