Contributing Writer; Toronto, Canada (@triflic)

We have looked at designer and artist Bryan Lenning in this column in the past. And on this warm spring day, from a city still in lockdown (in Toronto, 2021) I am pleased to highlight this muted palette, chilly, couch surfing classic (in New York, 1961).

That is right. You may not have recently thought of the Coen Brother's exceptional folk-music, Inside Llweyn Davis. The dour, struggling artist drama released in 2013 to much acclaim, but perhaps less enthusiasm than their more violent or kooky fare, with its hazy cinematography and brilliant (and precisely, meticulously off-putting) turn from Oscar Isaac. 

But Lenning has.

And here, he captures the feel of the film, walking right up to the edge of a cat meme, without crossing the line. This poster espouses all the great things about minimal design, without going for the centered line-art single object. Instead it places Isaac impotently and quietly struggling in the bottom right corner of the image, with 'all is not lost' kitty kat peeping up opposite. Isaac looks out of the frame. The cat breaks the fourth wall.

But what really gets me is the colour texture of the stucco wall.  Something that might be used for a hot and sweaty desert epic, instead offers a kind of institutional chill.  Recently, with Benedetta's lace, Werewolves Within's yarn, and Cliff Walker's snow-covered brickwork and fedoras, I am enamored with how to capture the tactile in key art, and this poster just rubs me the right way.


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Bryan LenningCatCoen BrothersFelineFolk MusicKey ArtMuted PalletteOscar IssacPosterWall

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