Italian art trio Malleus – Lu, Poia and Urlo – cite their influences as “Expressionism and Symbolism, Art Nouveau and Surrealism, Pop Art and Psychedelic Art; comics, photography, cinema and literature”.
For the last 10 years they have been creating handmade silkscreen poster art related to rock concerts. They run a record label, Supernatural Cat, and Poia and Urlo play in the heavy psych band Ufomammut.
They are also – like all of us at Civilian – huge Dario Argento fans. Argento is the man who fashioned the “giallo” genre of horror film, defined by its often spectacular art house visuals as much as its surreal and inventive sadism. Not to mention a flair for electronica (Argento’s own band, Goblin, has been a huge influence on contemporary composers).
They were approached by Dark City Gallery in the UK, which specialises in limited edition art movie and rock posters, to create a series based on the Italian horror master’s work. Their resulting Dario Argento posters are a thing of beauty – and also serve to highlight how many of the originals hold their own in terms of graphic style and innovation.
“We think our prints are very different from the originals,” they say. “We tried to dig into the movies to find some alternative influences, different from the usual vision of Argento’s movies. We like the ‘golden period’, especially the early years, of Dario Argento’s filmography – the atmosphere, scenography, photography and framing of his movies are very peculiar and intriguing, so it’s been exciting to work on this series, it’s been a good challenge for us. Moreover, as Italians is good to discover how much he’s appreciated all around the world.” C