To honor the work of filmmaker John Hillcoat, collectibles boutique Mondo released a series of limited edition posters for each of his films. Among the releases was artist Randy Ortiz‘s take on Hillcoat’s 2009 work ‘The Road,’ a film based on the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name. The film follows a man and his son on their journey through the post-apocalyptic American landscape following an extinction level event, in hopes of reaching the sea and with it, survival.
Like the world the man and his son exist in, Ortiz created his poster from graphite and charcoal — physical elements pushed and pulled across a slab of paper, pulp, beatened and flattened. Ortiz captures the heavy dread of the book and film with his incredibly dense drawing, a piece that he drew at the poster’s actual size of 24″ x 36″. Beyond the beauty of his drawing there is the expert level screen printing of the final artwork — the piece was photographed and adjusted in Photoshop before being handed over to Steve Horvath and his staff of DL Screenprinting for the color separation and printing. The poster is built of multiple layers of gray, ink on ink, that in the end mimics Ortiz’s original drawing.
One of Ortiz’s greatest skills is in capturing mood and here we feel the desolation, the trudge of doom, that the man and his son are experiencing. Their narrative is one of constant sorrow — a road of murderers, thieves, and cannibals, with little to no signs of even the slightest of joys or happiness in sight. McCarthy is a writer unafraid of the darkness, and in ‘The Road‘ he creates a story of poetic horror, a bleak seance into a dead future, a world in which no man would want to live.
For his part Ortiz follows the same poetic rhythm — his vision of ‘The Road’ available in two versions — one with the man, his son at his side and the other, just their footsteps in the ash. A sign of what lays ahead. Without depicting the graphic horrors of the narrative, Ortiz gave the audience the heartache that one gets from the book and film in one single image. This is art as lamentation.