Bob Peak's name might not be familiar, but one look at the magnificent illustrations contained between the covers of this outstanding book and you will recognize his fantastic body of work.
A book has to be outstanding to earn five stars from me and I would add a plus if the software permitted. January 21, 2011 I'd attended an exhibit of his movie posters at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles. I was so taken with his work that I immediately wrote an Examiner article about it and called it mesmerizing. The work was so exquisite that I actually made the rounds of the exhibit three times. I kept feeling I had to have just one more look.
I was delighted to learn his son, Tom Peak, has produced one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever seen as a celebration of his father’s work and life. Artist Bob Peak's unique styles in multiple art forms (1927-1992) set the standard for his time. It has been recognized as the benchmark for illustrators both as students and professionals. Peak broke long-standing rules and created new ones. Then he broke those and created more.
Peak's colorful graphic depictions publicized so many blockbuster movies during his productive years that it boggles the mind. When reviewing this book, I learned that the classic movie posters that enthralled me at the exhibit and were only part of his body of work. In looking at the beautiful representations of his art and reading about the history of this amazing artist, his impact upon the worlds of art, advertising, movies, and illustration written by some of the giants in the industry, it was clear that Tom Peak had created a wonderful memorial to his father. Although I personally own several coffee table and art books. Without doubt, this is one I feel privileged to own and review.
The 8 pound The Art of Bob Peak, is shipped in a very sturdy custom-designed carton with buffered edges to make sure corners will not be damaged. The the elegant simplicity of the cover design is repeated on the carton, and hints of what you will discover inside. Everything about it is first class. You know it is something special from the moment you lift the simple white cover of this 11 x 12.5 inch book. Peak’s enlarged signature stretches across the simple white cover diagonally in rich ruby red.
The quality of the paper is unlike any I’ve seen in coffee table books, even some of the wonderful editions from National Geographic. It is thicker than average which means there is absolutely no bleeding through of color from one side of the page to the other--it feels like the best quality available and certainly does justice to the vibrant images.
During his career, Peak produced multiple types of art including advertising, editorial, fashion, iconic movie posters, etc. Each is represented in its own section. It is immediately apparent that unlike artists who have one style that is their signature, Peak changed and perfected so many that sometimes it was difficult to believe the same person produced the beautiful gallery presented in the 392 pages.
Another bonus is the inclusion of some of the methods and working sketches Peak employed to create these impressive pieces of art. We all have our favorite styles, and for me it was the montages. I found it quite interesting to see some of the individual elements that were included in specific pieces and how they were combined to form the final design. Another feature is inclusion of some alternate designs for certain pieces.
The scores of movie posters, the segment of Peak's work most recognizable to the majority of the populace, includes West Side Story, Apocalypse Now, Camelot, Superman, Star Trek and My Fair Lady. To use a cliché, that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Thank you Tom Peak for sharing your father’s work and life in this wonderful publication.
For more information: Visit The Art of Bob Peak website - http://www.bobpeak.com/
The book is available on Amazon and from the Bob Peak website.
MORGAN ST. JAMES is the author of ten books in publication and also writes Writers’ Tricks of the Trade columns in the Las Vegas and Los Angeles editions of examiner.com. Her latest book Who’s Got the Money? is a funny crime caper centered around a very clever embezzlement in the Federal prison system. Watch for the release October 15 of her upcoming true crime book, La Bella Mafia, Bella Capo’s shocking true story, co-authored with Dennis N. Griffin and Bella Capo.