Mad Men season 6: Englishman jazzes up Don Draper's image
A 75-year-old illustrator from Saffron Walden creates 'impressionistic' poster for upcoming Mad Men series
MADISON AVENUE has a new Mad Man: a 75-year-old English illustrator who has created the striking "impressionistic" poster for season six of the US show, which starts next month.
Mad Men's creator, Matthew Weiner, wanted to announce the return of Don Draper and his colleagues at the Spencer Cooper agency with a campaign that reeked of the 1960s.
Leafing through a book called Lifestyle Illustration of the 60s, he was struck by the work of Brian Sanders, a prolific English illustrator who worked for the London firm Artist Partners in the 1960s.
The veteran illustrator was eventually tracked down to his home near Saffron Walden in Essex. Luckily for Mad Men's producers, the septuagenarian artist is not only still drawing – he's a fan of the show.
"I do like the programme because the same things were going on in London," Sanders tells The Guardian. "It took me right back to those days."
Sanders's Mad Men poster depicts Don Draper, the show's lead character, in a "vertiginous pose on a New York City street corner that seems to be collapsing on him like the decade he is living in", says the New York Times. "It looks as if it has time-travelled from the pages of an old copy of Reader's Digest."
The paper says the "impressionistic image" was created using a technique called ‘scumbling' in which colours and outlines are softened by covering them with a film of opaque or semi-opaque colour. The result: a "jazzy, textured effect that instantly conjures 1960s illustration".
The Mad Men image draws on work Sanders did in 1966 when he was invited by director Stanley Kubrick to spend months drawing on the set of 2001: A Space Odyssey. It was a formative experience that allowed Sanders to hone "an illustration style that balanced slightly trippy abstraction with a concrete feeling of reportage", the Times says.
"For that job I just drew what was in front of me, and what Stanley did was bizarre enough for me not to have to worry much about what I was doing," Sanders said.
Mad Men season six begins in the US on 7 April and in the UK, on Sky Atlantic, on 10 April. ·