HBO's Game of Thrones Gets the B&A Royal Treatment
A well-told story outlives the words required to create it. It will ignite the imagination and tease the heart. It inspires and lives on long past its telling. A good story elicits a response. HBO’s Game of Thrones has arrested audiences the world over with its sweeping epic tale and characters that create homes deep in our psyches. To kick of this season, with the help of Bernstein & Andriulli they commissioned five artists to create artwork inspired by the series and tapped Tristan Eaton, Pop Chart Lab, and Jeff Nishinaka, CYRCLE and Marcos Chin for this original work. The collection of work was called "Art the Throne," and for good reason: each artist created a veritable royal masterpiece for all to enjoy.
“As I grew up I only wanted to paint characters in the streets,” says Tristan Eaton. “I’ve always had that affinity for nerd fantasy. I’m proud of it.” Tristan created a series of six paintings, each a play on the same image. A greyscale portrait of Daenerys Targaryen, the dragon queen, is replicated in each painting, with additions that reflect relationships and story points that have arisen along the way. Each painting has its own color themes, creating a final series of images that both reveal something about this crucial character and play with the eye. “Game of Thrones has some of the most amazing, strong female leads out of any show I’ve ever seen,” Tristan explains. “That really inspires.”
Pop Chart Lab were inspired by one of the series’ most gut wrenching scenes known as ‘The Red Wedding.’ In this horror show, a family of a spurned bride-to-be murders the family who didn’t hold up their end of the marriage bargain. Complicated rules of promise and honor factor into the event, resulting in the almost complete decimation of a bloodline. The families in Game of Thrones each have their own histories and lore, weaving into the rich fabric of the story. “Each family is so unique from the next,” says Becky Joy, a designer for Pop Chart Lab. “There’s a lot of symbolism throughout.” They wanted to remember the Starks with a huge 12-foot tall, engraved glass piece that memorialized the family while offering dread by lighting it up totally red. “I’d like people to walk away from this feeling like something bad happened here,” says Ashley Walker.
One of the biggest conflicts in the series is the ever-present danger from the North, the White Walkers (a type of ice zombie) are constantly threatening to invade the Seven Kingdoms, overrunning everyone and everything and covering the land in an icy death. When Jeff Nishinaka was looking for inspiration he turned to a scene where in the midst of battle the White Walkers raise our hero’s fallen allies from the dead turning them into White Walkers themselves. “It really does have a huge emotional impact,” says Jeff. “It’s kind of one of those ‘Oh my God!’ moments.” With the raising of his arms the leader of the White Walkers raises these zombies from the dead, and that’s the exact moment that Jeff wanted to immortalize in paper. Hundreds, if not thousands, pieces of cut paper come together to create the White Walker as he raises his hands above his head, bringing a kind of foul life to those who have fallen around him.
'Art the Throne' was on view in NYC’s Lower East Side at the Angel Orensanz Center for a limited time, but you can see the art of these B&A artists, as well as CYRCLE and Marcos Chin, here and teaser videos that we’ve included below.