The Film Society of Lincoln Center's poster for the 56th New York Film Festival (September 28 – October 14) was collaboratively designed by cinematographer Ed Lachman and visual artist JR. NYFF posters are a yearly artistic signature of the festival, and Lachman and JR join an impressive legacy of artists whose work has been commissioned for it, including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, David Hockney, Julian Schnabel, Cindy Sherman, and last year’s artist, Richard Serra.
“This year’s poster came together in the best imaginable way—spontaneously, at last year’s festival,” said New York Film Festival Director Kent Jones. “Dan Stern, our board president, was talking to Ed Lachman, one of the best DPs alive, a visual artist, and a regular at the NYFF, and asked him if he had any interest in doing a poster for this year. Ed thought it over, got back to Dan, and told him that he and JR—who was at the festival with his amazing collaboration with Agnès Varda, Faces Places—had been discussing the possibility of a collaboration, and they’d agreed that the NYFF poster presented them with a great opportunity. The result is better than we could ever have imagined, a real thing of beauty, and it’s going to be a favorite.”
On the partnership and thought process behind this year’s poster, Ed Lachman explains, “Being at the Festival is the highlight of the year for me, when I’m not working. It’s a place to meet, share, and experience what cinema can be. The opportunity to create the poster for the New York Film Festival and collaborate with JR was a formidable experience and similar to filmmaking, where one works with other visual artists to create a project. I’ve had the greatest respect and admiration for his work over the years, both visually and how he engages communities he’s portraying within a social context, which I think is so important in today’s world, to find how we’re all connected, rather than separated and divided.”
According to Lachman, “The idea came together using JR’s emblematic eyes . . . What is cinema without the mind, the heart, and the eyes of the filmmakers? Using the director’s eyes can symbolize the creative force behind the images and the stories that the Festival has championed and represented to New York over the years, supported by the audience holding the placards of their eyes, and what can be more New York than our alleyways?”