Mondo Showcase #4 – “Jaws”

Jaws by Laurent Durieux (2014)

“…Laurent Durieux’s delightful poster for everyone’s favorite summer scare, Steven Spielberg’s Jaws, where the monstrous shark’s fin is graphically hidden in plain sight, lurking in the sunny image of an umbrella on a crowded beach, where it cleverly bisects a woman’s leg.”

– Movie Making Legend, Brad Bird.

 

The movie, ‘Jaws’ quickly became a masterclass, genre-defining film. Rather than outright showing the finned beast, Steven Spielberg used perspective and suggestion to build suspense throughout the film. The audience was forced to experience Bruce’s terrifying perspective as he preys on oblivious swimmers with deadly consequences. This decision in perspective built suspense throughout the film, and lead to a satisfying payout when we finally see the aquatic beast on screen.

Through the eyes of Bruce, the audience sees the soon-to-be victims as danger slowly approaches. The victim on screen is completely oblivious of the danger to come, but the audience knows that danger is hidden in plain sight.

Laurent Durieux plays with the trope of danger in plain sight perfectly with his ‘Jaws’ piece. Durieux uses a warm color palette and soft tones to depict families enjoying their time at the beach on a summer day, but a symbol of suspense and fear hidden in plain sight quickly changes the tone of the artwork.

Durieux’s piece perfectly conveys the tone of the film, using the iconic shark fin to establish suspense with the audience. Most people viewing the piece will immediately recognize the warmth and relaxation of the beach setting, but not the shark fin silhouette hidden in the beach umbrella. Once the shark fin is brought to a viewer’s attention, the tone of the piece changes. What was once an illustration of families enjoying their summer, now becomes a depiction of doomed beachgoers.

It would seem that Laurent Durieux must have been taking notes from Steven Spielberg himself when conceptualizing his artwork by using many similar techniques from the film, conveying the same emotions. Similar to the cinematic methods used by Steven Spielberg, Laurent Durieux uses perspective and symbolism instead of blatantly focusing his work on the beast thereby creating suspense and fear in the viewer.


We’re honored to be working with the team at Mondo to publish an amazing collection of pop culture artwork. “The Art of Mondo” includes over 300 pieces of Mondo artwork, a detailed timeline of the company, and a foreword by movie making icon, Brad Bird. “The Art of Mondo” is available for preorder now; visit Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Insight Editions for more details.