Sam Hadley Gets Romantic with Billionaires
It’s not question that everyone following the Presidential election of 2016 with any interest was surprised when the results came in, and since that Tuesday night every pundit and analyst has created their own angle from which to view “what happened.” At the Village Voice they used the perhaps unexpected lens of Romance Novels. After all, the election happened at the same time that Billionaire focused romance reached its height, and the readers that these are most popular with ultimately swung the election in the direction it went. It may not be why the election went the way it did, but its certainly a window into a possibility. To pair with the piece, the newspaper invited illustrator Sam Hadley to create an image that played on the themes of the reporting while offering something new.
The resulting piece from Hadley features President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump painted in the style of mass market romance paperback covers. They fall together in an embrace in front of The White House, Mrs Trump wrapped up in the American flag like a dress. Sam has also included a gold gilded frame around the image to remind us, if the couple wasn’t enough, that this is about money.
The argument made in The Village Voice is that at a time of economic uncertainty, at a time when the burden of breadwinning has become more gender balanced while housework is still unbalanced, there’s a impulse for middle class caucasian women to fantasize about the security that comes with financial excess. These voracious readers are reminded at the end of every story that it is, in fact, a fantasy, one only seen in the equally tawdry and morally superior pages of these novels. But there is a value in these beautiful escapes, like the one created by Sam Hadley, even if they don’t look like the truth.
Sam Hadley's Horrifying History Lesson with 'Get Out'
Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” (2017) released scarcely more than two weeks ago and it’s already proving to be a force to be reckoned with. Having already made 18 times its budget, the horror film is luring audiences of all stripes into theater seats despite tackling an unexpected issue: race. The most notable horror film to take on racism was “Night of the Living Dead” (1968), and the conversation has largely gone untouched since then until Peele’s new film. But the conversation has been restarted in a bracingly intelligent way, and Time Out New York invited Peele and star Allison Williams to discuss the implications and potential impacts of the film. Sam Hadley was brought on board to create a companion illustration for the piece that brought Peele and Williams together in a classic representation of horror tropes.
Jordan Peele doesn’t appear in “Get Out,” himself so rather than presenting an image from the movie, Sam created a poster for an imagined story. “Wicked Smart” is emblazoned across the top of the image, acting as a title for the duo, while also commenting on the consideration and balancing act that went into creating a contemporary horror film that dissects the complexities of contemporary racism. Sam has Peele and Williams braced together looking out of frame with terrified looks on their face peering into the darkness. The one source of light comes from a blazing candle in Peele’s hand. At once Sam’s image recalls 1950s horror and sci-fi film posters and pulp book covers, as well as Scooby Doo and The Hardy Boys. This is a tradition that reaches far beyond even full representation of black Americans in popular culture. Sam’s image at once lampoons the exclusive nature of the form, while inviting the beginning of a new generation.
This is the way we’re used to seeing horror stories from the very beginning. We can maintain that tradition if we’re willing to open it up, which is exactly what Sam is doing with this illustration and Peele is doing with his blockbuster.
Variety's Summer of Telemundo
Sam Hadley's Variety cover accompanies a piece titled "¡Hecho en USA!" that charts the rise of NBCUniversal's Spanish-language network Telemundo. "Even though the style is very painterly, it's actually painted digitally in Photoshop," Hadley said. "The process is still much the same as if it were natural media." Though the zoom-out concept was decided on before he received the brief, the pose was left up to him: "It needed to follow the 'classic embrace' composition to feel like a genuine poster."
"We don't have telenovelas in England," the Brit added, "so I had a fair bit of Internet research to do."