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Five Guys Named Moe
posted: May 22, 2014

The Arena Stage in Washington DC has been producing beautifully illustrated posters for years. Art director Nicky Lindeman called to see if I’d design a poster to be part of their 2014-5 season, for “Five Guys Named Moe.” a musical revue of Louis Jordan songs written by the great actor Clarke Peters (The Wire and Treme.) Anyone who has listened to Louis Jordan records knows that his music is filled with a lot of energy and humor, and chickens. I tried to bring some of those qualities to this design.
These pieces from the Harlem Renaissance served as inspiration for the style of the poster, Winold Reiss, left, Miguel Covarrubias, right....

I also brought a little Juan Gris to this one....

Rough thumbnail sketches, the story begins when five guys named Moe pop out of a radio to give advice about life, drinking and big-legged women....

Sketch 1...

Sketch 2...

6 comments
Robert Neubecker May 23, 2014
Great poster, the cubist roots are really enjoyable, the sketches a treat....
Flaherty May 23, 2014
That's a killer posterPaul.
Douglas Fraser May 26, 2014
Super rich illustration. Hell that table top in the lower front is sweet on it's own. Nicky & Arena are smiling.
Tim OBrien May 29, 2014
Whoa. That's a beauty and looks like it's from another era.
John S. Dykes May 30, 2014
Love the poster, Paul... and some great inspiration there.
Jody Hewgill June 4, 2014
Fantastic composition and energy Paul; I especially love how you revised the rough with details like the intersection of the shoe tip and the tabletop. You are the perfect person for this assignment!
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