The history of Bond onscreen and the written page is also the history of design art, graphical prowess, era-defining fonts and warm vibrancy on Cold War canvases. It is also the history of bad fan art.
However, in recent times that has shifted. The arena of alternate movie and poster art has matured and evolved. The studios and distributors are now looking towards home-grown, lesser in-house art to bolster their titles. And now a growing number of clever, Bond-aware artists have stepped away from recreating bad DVD cover art to really engage with new technologies, textures and graphical influences when reimagining the spectrum of Commander Bond.
One of the new artists making a fresh Bond mark is BILLY’S BOND ART. Using a variety of mixed medias, his new ‘BOND IN COLOUR’ virtual exhibition uses a vibrant, totally fresh and often anarchic use of pens, gouache, watercolours and digital drawing. This is an eye and approach that straddles contemporary street art, a sense of mural and not that far removed from the jagged, agitprop leanings and resistance graffiti strewn along the Berlin Wall for decades. Add Roger Moore’s clown moment from 1983’s Octopussy and maybe this collection is cannier than even it knew. Combine that with a George Lazenby on magnificent comic-strip skis in a piece not that far removed from the yellows and blues of many a late Sixties Winter Olympics poster motif and a Moonraker base with an echo of the child’s drawings some of us did as kids ourselves and ‘BOND IN COLOUR’ ends up being a cute little ensemble of fresh thinking.
Taking one beat from ten different Bond films, ‘BOND IN COLOUR’ is a worthy project marking sixty years of colourful cinema, characters, branding and beats.
For more of Billy’s Bond inspired art check out his IG feed / @billysbondart