Siudmak's Dune Original Painting
The French painter of Polish origin Siudmak signed until a few years ago all the covers of the Science-Fiction collection of Presses Pocket. His art, combining mythology, surrealism and fantasy, is often compared to that of Dali, but this is reductive. Because Siudmak has built his own imaginary universe that he has accepted to put at the service of Presses Pocket and its authors. He has become a transmitter; he has taken the readers by the hand and accompanied them in these books and their foreign worlds. Wojtek Siudmak's paintings were their first contact with the science fiction genre. It is impossible to have read SciFi or fantasy books without having come across a dreamlike drawing signed by the painter on one of the covers of Pocket editions. Between the 1970s and 2000, in collaboration with the publisher Jacques Goimard, the painter made the great hours of the Pocket Science-Fiction collection, of which he illustrated all the novels. Among his best-known works, there is of course the painting that became the cover of Dune, the novel by Frank Herbert.
Dune is more than just a commission for Siudmak, it is an intimate story. He is in symbiosis with the work of Frank Herbert. He has illustrated the other books in the cycle and continues to create stunning pencil works based on the planet of sands and its inhabitants. This blue-eyed face, which seems to stare at you, has marked generations of readers, including a certain Denis Villeneuve.
On September 6, 2021, during the world premiere of the film Dune at the Grand Rex cinema in Paris, and in the presence of the entire film crew, director Denis Villeneuve paid tribute to Siudmak present in the room: "I'm here tonight, because when I was 13 years old I saw a book cover in a bookstore in Quebec. What attracted me was the drawing. It is Wojtek Siudmak, and I am moved to tell you that he is here tonight."
Siukmak had just arrived in the United States when Jacques Goimard, the publisher of the Pocket collection, called him to tell him that he needed an illustration for the book Dune. He was gone for three months, he obviously hadn't brought his studio with him, he had no paper, no canvas, no paint, nothing. Little by little, the idea for this painting began to mature. And he couldn't see anything else than this character with blue eyes because the desert seemed to him incidental like everything else. He said to himself, "I'm going to draw an apparition, like a god, that appears in the sky above Dune." As he painted, he thought about this idea that he wanted to convey in the most obvious, simple way possible. When you think about it, the most beautiful covers could be a portrait by Rembrandt, or a painting by Da Vinci. He went back to the tradition of classical paintings and thought he had to do something powerful, something that would draw people in.
It's an important painting in the ScienceFictionArchives.com collection.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
Size : 83 x 68 cm
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