If there is one thing that might be as divisive as religion and politics, it’s art. What one group considers the finest modern art ever made can look like a big accident to another group. Christo and Jean-Claude wrapped the Arc de Triomphe in Paris with blue fabric and called it art. Others called it a colossal waste of time and money.
The one thing we can all agree on is that art is very personal. And that brings us to the topic of this post: movie and TV posters. You might not find them hanging on the walls of the Louvre or the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but you will find them in our homes and businesses. Movie and TV posters are art for the rest of us.
Art’s culture has a lot in common with the wine and artisan chocolate cultures. There are those with exceptionally refined tastes, those who believe they can tell the difference between exquisite works and everything else. The art egalitarians among us take great pride in their own collections featuring a nice mix of well-known classics and works from obscure artists known only to the chosen few.
Most of us don’t fit in that culture. We represent the quintessential everyman and everywoman of classic storytelling. We are the average man and woman on the street, people who can appreciate a good piece of art in the right place and at the right time. But we all work for a living. We spend 8 to 10 hours every day putting food on the table. We spend evenings and weekends running the kids from here to there.
For most of us, spending several hours at an art museum would be a luxury. And by the way, that’s even if we understood what we were looking at. Movie and TV posters appeal to us as art because they are everything that ‘real’ art is not.
Movie and TV posters are art for everyman and everywoman. They speak to how we see the world. They spark our imaginations and encourage us to dream. They remind us that not everything in life needs to be taken so seriously.
Perhaps another reason TV and movie posters appeal to the rest of us boils down to the simple issue of cost. Comparatively speaking, TV and movie posters are relatively cheap. You can buy a lot of posters for not a lot of money. They only start getting expensive when they become collector’s items.
That means TV and movie posters represent art for every budget. You do not have to spend a lot to buy posters at Nerd Kung Fu, for example. For less than a good meal at a sit-down restaurant, you can buy two or three posters and even a T-shirt or two. Moreover, all the best movies and TV shows are covered.
Imagine walking in the front door and seeing a Star Trek Starfleet Academy certificate poster hanging on the wall directly in front of you. You might be only person in your neighborhood with that piece of art. It is unique; it is emotionally challenging; it forces you to take a mental break from the world every time you see it.
Art is very personal. It can be divisive as well. But that is half the fun of collecting it. For those of us who are neither interested in the classics nor have the budget to support such pricey art, there are TV and movie posters. They are art for the rest of us.