Have you ever come across a piece of art so bold and breathtaking, so heart-stopping and jaw-dropping, that you feel dizzy and faint but also wildly ecstatic and a bit crazed, all at the same time? Perhaps a soupçon of le Syndrome Stendahl?
I’m sure I must have, at some point, seen some of Noriyoshi Ohrai’s works, a prolific master illustrator of iconic film posters for movies that we all know and love–Star Wars, Mad Max, Goonies, etc. But somehow, he flew under my radar until last month I saw his Godzilla movie posters, and frankly, I lost my shit. They are freaking fantastic! So beautifully vivid and detailed, gorgeous and terrifying all at once! More than an artist of poster art approved by George Lucas, Ohrai created thousands of illustrations, usually in the genre of science fiction and special effects films like the Godzilla series, as well as numerous artworks for pulp fiction books and video games.
Elusive and somewhat mysterious, he was known to be an immensely meticulous worker who immersed himself in an incredible amount of research before working on a commissioned piece. It is said that moviegoers would comment that his illustrations of Godzilla looked even more powerful and violent than the real thing. Ohrai passed in 2015, sadly before I had even heard of him. He’s left behind a vast body of work to discover, though, and I have been having an absolute blast scouring the internet to see all of it! This post took me a while to put together because I like to be able to share both the artist and give some details about the work itself if only just a title. It took a little digging and a lot of Google Translate, but here are some favorites, below. Please forgive any errors in translation, I tried my best!
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