June 8, 2011

The Posters of Frankenstein : The Mechanical by Dave Plunkert

A superb poster by Dave Plunkert for The Mechanical, Michael McGuigan’s play that introduces Mary Shelley and her fictional Monster into the extraordinary true-life tale of The Turk, a chess-playing automaton that thrilled and bamboozled observers in Europe and North America from the late 1700s until its fiery destruction in the mid 1800s. 

The Turk’s dumbfounded opponents included kings and assorted Grand Dukes, as well as Napoleon Bonaparte and Benjamin Franklin. It inspired Edgar Poe into writing a famous essay. Inevitably, this turbaned automaton would be exposed as an elaborate hoax. McGuigan’s intriguing play recruits Frankenstein’s Monster as the Turks’ operator, hiding inside its magician’s cabinet pedestal.

Dave Plunkert is a prolific illustrator and fine artist working out of Baltimore where, as it happens, the original Turk was displayed in the 1820s and a copycat device, the Walker Chess-Player, was assembled. Plunkert’s brilliant Dadaist collages have attracted top magazines such as Time, Playboy, Esquire and Rolling Stone, and an A-list of clients that include MTV and Nike.

Plunkert’s poster of The Mechanical was created for the Baltimore Theatre Project and the Bond Street Theatre where the play premiered in 2009.

Dave Plunkert’s website, blog, and Print Store.

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