Home > Art History, Uncategorized > Farewell to Painter Ralph McQuarrie

Farewell to Painter Ralph McQuarrie

Toy released, a portrait to honor McQuarrie as a Star Wars general.

This makes me really sad.  Not only did he have a huge body of work, there really aren’t many artists like Ralph McQuarrie around anymore.  In the 70s and 80s, painters working with sci-fi and fantasy had to take verbal information and make it visual.  They did not have the abundance of visual references people have today.  They had to imagine things on their own.  Their ideas came from their minds rather than from any body of established work.  They had to think of what the imagined would really look like if it existed, rather than what they think an audience would find believable.  They did not have digital imaging technology; they had to paint works on their own.

McQuarrie was a trailblazer that many others followed.

Battlestar Galactica concept sketch by Frank McQuarrie, 1978.

Star Wars concept painting by Ralph McQuarrie.

‘Star Wars’ designer McQuarrie dead at 82

Ralph McQuarrie, the cinematic designer known for the famous “Star Wars” characters such as Darth Vader, Chewbacca and R2-D2, has died at age 82, his website announced Sunday.

McQuarrie, who died Saturday, collaborated with George Lucas on the original “Star Wars” trilogy in the 1970s and with Steven Spielberg on films including “E.T,” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”

He also was part of the team with director Ron Howard which made “Cocoon,” a 1985 production which won an Oscar for special effects.

“Ralph was a very special person for many more reasons than his undeniable brilliance with a brush,” said a statement posted on the website.

“His influence on design will be felt forever. There’s no doubt in our hearts that centuries from now amazing spaceships will soar, future cities will rise and someone, somewhere will say… ‘that looks like something Ralph McQuarrie painted.'”  [source]

Categories: Art History, Uncategorized
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