Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Fantastic in the Fine Arts: Tron and Tron: Legacy

To continue with our celebration of the 30th birthday of Tron this week, today's fine arts column is going to feature artwork from Tron and Tron: Legacy, as well as works inspired by both of these movies.  For starters, here are the movie posters for both films:

I'm quite impressed by how successfully the Tron: Legacy poster conveys the main point of the film: Legacy is not a film about the future, but a film looking back to the glory days of the 1980s.

But what I also find really interesting, and which one of my colleagues pointed out to me, is that the original Tron poster is also visually referring to something--one of the posters for the first Star Wars movie, which was released 5 years earlier in 1977.

The positions of Kevin Flynn and Yori, and then Sam Flynn and Quorra, are very similar to those of Luke and Leia, complete with the beam of light extending up into the sky.  Just as Tron: Legacy took advantage of the iconography of the original film, the original Tron was capitalizing on the imagery from Star Wars to bring those fans into the theaters.

But the posters for the Tron movies are not the only interesting visual art related to this franchise.

Jean Giraud, a French comics artist who was also known by the pseudonym MÅ“bius, was one of the artists who contributed design concepts for the original Tron movie.  You can see some of these images over at Retroist, as well as a larger collection of Giraud's work over at the blog quenched consciousness.

Joshua T. Nimoy is another artist who has contributed to the Tron franchise, though his work was on Tron: Legacy, rather than the original film.  Here's his website, in which he publishes some of his work, along with explanations of what he was doing.  And here's an article about Nimoy over at The Wrap, which explains what he's talking about in slightly more user-friendly language.

Also, the folks at Inspiration Feed collected some of their favorite Tron and Tron:Legacy fan art.

And, in case you're looking to bring some Tron art into your own home, you can find a lot of cool Tron-inspired art over at Etsy, including this necklace that resembles a circuit board,

lightcycles spray-painted on a vinyl record,

and perhaps my favorite, a minimalist Tron movie poster.

It's amazing the variety of art that has gone into creating these movies, as well as the works that have been inspired by them.  It will be interesting to see if these images will still have purchase in another 30 years, and if they have, how they will have evolved.