The Master and the Apprentice

Something sadly missed from my 80’s youth is the large and beautifully canvas of ‘album cover’ artwork, such a long-lost platform for artist of today, and at that time the king of the ‘Original’ Mondo style of art was Patrick Nagel who was synonymous for his unholy union with Duran Duran and their cover artwork, most famous of all Rio.
Patrick Nagel Duran Duran Rio Album Cover ArtworkI always liked his unique vision of the contemporary woman coupled with his style of handling colour with quite a rare originality and freedom in which he continually simplified his designs to great effect.
Patrick Nagel Sexy Woman Artwork                  
Recently I thought he’d made resurgence in the now popular Sci-Fi field of Art Prints, but alas to my ignorance Patrick Nagel had died nearly 30 years ago, he’d suffered a heart attack at the young age of 38 after participating in a celebrity Aerobathon for the American Heart Association. Yet rising from the ashes in his place, it seems he’s been re-incarnated in the form of Craig Drake who works as a graphic designer in Lucasfilm’s online department, first made a digital sketch “using the classic Wacom tablet-Adobe Illustrator combo” he now channels an almost identical visual style to the late artist, even down to Nagel’s signature alabaster skin and jet black hair for all his subjects.
Craig Drake Mondo Star Wars Princess Leia Poster
Craig Drake’s current work includes some stunning sharp, sleek portraits of Sci-Fi film females like Princess Leia, Aurra Sing the Bounty Hunter, Princess Amidala and other Star Wars female characters, as well Pris and Rachel from Blade Runner, Leeloo from Fifth Element, Olivia Wilde’s Quorra character from Tron Legacy and a quite provocative one of Seven of Nine from Star Trek Voyager. All of which are a fitting tribute to Patrick Nagel’s sleek 80s pop style of characters.
Craig Drake Mondo Star Wars Sexy Slave Leia Poster
You might say Drake is simply a copyist, plagiarising Nagel’s work for his own means, but I’d say he still needs to the weld the craft and skill to refine his artwork into the simplest form has his predecessor did. Like they say in Star Wars, “Always two there are, a master and an apprentice.” Yoda, The Phantom Menace.
Craig Drake Blade Runner Rachel Poster
Some of Drake’s latest work will be at Mondo’s upcoming exhibition in Austin Texas, including for once a male character in the form Rick Deckard from Blade Runner. Other films getting Drake’s treatment will include Alien (love to see this one) Kill Bill and Escape From New York, the show runs from September 14 – October 6 at The Mondo Gallery on 4115 Guadalupe St.
Craig Drake Blade Runner Mondo Rick Deckard

5 thoughts on “The Master and the Apprentice”

  1. Craig is definitely going places. Fans of Nagel love his work. People who don’t know who Nagel is love his work. I have his “Maria” in my office, and I love looking at it each day.

    1. I’m so glad he’s following in Nagel’s footsteps, it’s such an exquisite style that shouldn’t be lost due to one man…. ‘Maria’ ..great choice BTW 🙂

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