Bringing Star Trek Fine Art to Collectors & the Masses
By StarTrek.com Staff - May 10, 2011
Have you ever wanted to own a genuine piece of Star Trek artwork? Well, now’s your chance. Iron Gut Publishing out of the U.K. is offering a wide range of Trek-centric art designed to appeal to one and all, from avid collector-investors to everyday fans seeking an affordable piece of the action. Among the artists tapped by Iron Gut are familiar Star Trek figures Geoffrey Mandel and Ryan Church, as well as popular Star Wars artists Brian Rood and Randy Martinez, and respected British artists Dave Merrell and Paul Oz.
“As a Star Trek fan, I visited many conventions over the years in England,” Iron Gut owner Anthony Marks told StarTrek.com. “But it was only when I visited San Diego Comic-Con did I realize that there were beautiful pieces of animation and film related art out there available to buy from studios such as Marvel, Warner Bros and Disney but besides a lot of fan art, there was no official Star Trek fine art program and this is what we are trying to create. We are working with the very best illustrators and artists all over the world to create a range of fine art that would look amazing on any collector’s wall.”
Church, for example, created the concept artwork for Star Trek (2009). Rood has provided cover art for countless comic books, and Oz created pieces for Iron Gut’s Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali collections. And then there’s Geoffrey Mandel, who has worked, in a variety of capacities on Deep Space Nine, Generations, Insurrection, Voyager, Enterprise and Star Trek (2009). He has also contributed to several Star Trek books, including Star Trek: Star Charts, which he wrote and illustrated.
Marks invited Mandel to create a highly detailed, 36x24-inch map of the Star Trek universe for Iron Gut’s Star Trek Fine Art Collection and Mandel happily agreed to do so. His piece will be part of a limited edition of 45 – celebrating the 45th anniversary of Star Trek. “I’d always wanted to do a map of the Federation,” Mandel told StarTrek.com. “Star Trek: Star Charts had foldout gatefold maps of the Federation, but they were kind of unwieldy and hard to piece together. A lot of people were emailing and saying, ‘Couldn’t you just make one nice, big print of the Federation map?’ I always said, ‘I’d love to, but Pocket Books has the deal to do books, not artwork. I forgot about it after that. Then, when Anthony came along, it seemed like a great opportunity to do a really high-quality map, which, indeed, is exactly what they’ve produced.”
Mandel first developed the map while working on Enterprise. The show’s art team wanted to have some early Federation maps visible in assorted quarters. Then, for Star Charts, Mandel added a lot of detail over a lot of time. “In fact, the map that Iron Gut is producing is accurate through Nemesis and the first season of Enterprise,” Mandel says. “There’s a lot of stuff that happened on Enterprise after that that’s just not on the map, that I would have loved to have added in, but that would have taken a lot more time than we had. But this is a labor of love. It’s basically the Federation, the Klingon Empire, the Romulan Star Empire, all the places that we visited on all the Star Treks through the first season of Enterprise. I’ve seen the maps, because I’m signing them, and they look great.”
As noted, Iron Gut will offer a variety of pieces in various editions and at a wide range of prices; every piece will come with a certificate of authenticity. “Entry-level” fine art pieces – rare cast shots from the films and shows, as well as ship images -- will retail for about $25 and be limited to 5,000 pieces worldwide. The illustrative art on paper and canvas pieces will usually be limited to 95 pieces worldwide, with each piece hand numbered and signed by the individual artist.
Some pieces from Iron Gut’s Star Trek Fine Art Collection will be available internationally via art galleries and specialist websites, but the one and only place fans and collectors can view the entire collection in detail at this moment is at www.startrekartwork.com.
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