The poster designs of Australian duo We Buy Your Kids are images born in the realm of unhinged psychedelic psychosis. There’s a joyful frenzy at play in their work, like they’ve opened their brains and splashed around in the ideas and colors that poured out. Their version of ‘The Shining‘ gets to the emotional fright and internal decay of Jack Torrance without explicitly depicting the violence and turmoil he creates. It’s there, inside of him, creeping out in shades of blood.
We Buy Your Kids is Sonny Day & Biddy Maroney, from Sydney, Australia. What I love about their work is their willingness to get weird, to let it all hang out. There’s a personal impact it has on me — I’m a quiet and (probably) reserved guy. Sonny and Biddy’s art, it roars. It gets inside your brain and dry humps the mush. The posters they make are creative freedom.
Film posters have the job of communicating a story — a movie that spans time, has music, characters, tone. There’s humor and sadness. Fear. Joy. Even the most dramatic of films have these elements to it. It’s the artist’s job to get that all encompassed into one sheet of paper through visuals only. Or maybe not. I don’t know. Modern cinema will tell you to just use the face of your actors, a title, and a tagline. Who knows, that may be the best way to advertise a movie, but so much more can be done. An artist can bring themselves to the mix — interpret the film through their own internal mechanism.
We Buy Your Kids take an interesting approach to the craft of the film poster. Their ‘An American Werewolf in London‘ captures the film but it isn’t showing you the film. There’s not a masked werewolf holding a flag in the entire movie, but that decision, to do that, is what makes the poster so fantastic.
Maybe I’m a sucker. Maybe I’m in that phase where you find a new band and buy everything they ever made and love it so much you can’t stop playing that one song. I’m okay with that. I’m fine with my heartfelt fandom. My excitement isn’t just about the art, but also that it exists. That there is work like this in the world. That businesses are supporting great art by hiring legit creative people to do what they do best — to be creative as f*@k.
Check out more of Sonny and Biddy’s work at the We Buy Your Kids site and these other handy links —
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