Friday, February 27, 2015

The man behind the Oscar -- and a whole lot more

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and Academy Award archives

HE'S KNOWN AND worked with many of the legends of Hollywood. He designed the Oscar logo that has become an international symbol of the Academy Awards.
And his famous Olympics poster captures the event's spirit with joy and imagination.
London-born Arnold Schwartzman -- Academy Award winning filmmaker and noted graphic designer -- has left his mark on Hollywood and the world.
He moved to the world's Glitz Capital in 1978 to become the design director for Saul Bass and Associates.
Arnold Schwartzman and his wife Isolde, on board the Queen Elizabeth.
The couple is posing in front of one of two murals Schwartzman designed.
BUT THE KID who liked to draw as a youth in war torn London, was unhappy that he didn't have more time for his passion:  art.
That changed when in 1982, Schwartzman was appointed the director of design for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. Since 1996, he has designed many of the key elements for the Annual Academy Awards® ("Oscar®"), including commemorative posters, billboards, cinema trailers and printed programs for the Awards ceremony and Governors Ball.
SCHWARTZMAN has a reputation for generosity to up-and-coming artists.  Probably because he came from humble roots.  His father was a waiter at London's famed Savoy Hotel, and his family home was bombed during the Blitz of World War II.
Arnold Schwartzman, left, and Elizabeth Taylor, during the making
 of "Genocide" in 1981.  It won an Oscar for Schwartzman the next year.
He worked his way up the design ladder from a spot with British television, was noticed by well known London advertising firms, and went on to win awards for TV commercials for Coca-Cola and Philips Electrical.
After being wooed to Hollywood, he worked with Elizabeth Taylor on a 1981 documentary, "Genocide," which won him an Oscar for best documentary in 1982.
Schwartzman's eye catching Olympics poster used bike tires as the five rings.

WHAT MAKES a great artist of any genre is talent, of course.  But what gives that person endurance and immortality is kindness.
Schwartzman recently exhibited that during our tour of Cunard's Queen Elizabeth.   He paused by the murals he designed for the luxury liner, chatted graciously with reporters and talked about his career.
Besides his beautiful 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games poster -- with three bicycles forming the five Olympic rings -- he designed the United Nations Peace Monument at the Korean War Memorial Museum in Seoul.
He has also designed art for projects for the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Who, and other rock stars.
THE TRICK for him, he said, is keeping engaged, active and involved in one's chosen career.  He practices what he preaches. Last week, his diverse work was featured at the prestigious Christopher Guy showroom in West Hollywood. A week-long show with an invitation-only opening honored the celebrated graphic designer and filmmaker.
 NEXT UP: Lilianslastdance looks at the booming spring theater season in San Diego, with cutting edge work at San Diego Rep, an inter-active theater by La Jolla Playhouse at a downtown hotel, a vintage musical at Cygnet in Old Town, a play with a political edge at the Old Globe and a romantic comedy at North Coast Rep. Check us out weekends for a look at theater, literature, books and art.

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