The Name’s Bond (Art)…


One has only to look at the average man’s bookshelf or magazine rack to see his cultural (and certainly his sartorial) influence, and a quick glance at a DVD collection is a dead giveaway… all men, of all ages it seems, love James Bond. A character created more than half a century ago by a gentleman bored into writing by endless sunny days on holiday in Jamaica, Bond is the epitome of brutish aggression and refined elegance rolled into one.

Besides enjoying Ian Fleming’s writing and the genius of the films, one of the great highlights of the Bond phenomenon for me has to be the accompanying poster art. I am the very proud owner of an original 1983 poster for Octopussy, having received it as a very generous gift. It was acquired with much excitement from the Reel Poster Gallery in Westbourne Grove which is a must-visit if you are similarly inclined to enjoy the immediacy and brilliance of this art form.

The Gallery is a welcoming and relaxed space where one can enjoy some truly great (and very collectible) posters from the earliest days of film. King Kong and Snow White rub shoulders with Star Wars and Breakfast at Tiffany. Those interested in taking home something special of their own will not be disappointed and indeed if after something specific you can search their catalogue online in advance to make sure they have what you are looking for to save a wasted trip. Not that any visit would be a waste… there is so much to look at.

From an interiors perspective, these bold, graphic designs which always measure 30″ x 40″ in the original, work brilliantly if you need to fill a big gap on a wall or want to make a bold personal statement with your choice of film. Framing them properly isn’t cheap given their size, especially if you opt for a museum-grade glass which filters the light and protects the ink from fading (essential if you are investing a fair bit of cash in something you really love and it is going opposite a window or in a particularly light space).

Whilst writing this post I  am reminded of the brilliant and as far as I know successful 2008 exhibition at the Imperial War Museum, For Your Eyes Only; Ian Fleming + James Bond which sought to elaborate on the similarities between the author and his creation. The exhibition was accompanied by an excellent book of the same title by Ben MacIntyre which I bought and highly recommend.

In 2009 I tried (unsuccessfully) to buy a nice example of the British poster for Diamonds Are Forever at Christies South Kensington as company for Octopussy... My absentee bid was pipped to the post by a mere one bid… better luck next time I hope.

The Reel Poster Gallery
72 Westbourne Grove
London W2



One Response to “The Name’s Bond (Art)…”

  1. […] few years ago the Imperial War Museum in London staged an ambitious exhibition exploring the world of Ian Fleming and the close similarities between his own life and that of the […]

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