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War of the Worlds

    • Inspired by the classic Orson G. Welles radio play

      I have created several space-related prints, but War of the Worlds is my “planet opus.” This image was inspired by the 1938 radio play by Orson Welles, where a fictional alien attack was broadcast, news bulletin style, over the radio. Some of the listeners tuning in didn’t realize that the reports were part of a performance, causing panic around the country.

      My version creates an intergalactic battle on a grand scale - and at the heart of the scene is a radio, set atop a period typing table. (Or is it a robot? Look closely at the “face” made by the radio and the “arms” made by the table.) The scene looks as if a child, inspired by the radio play, set up this drama in a playroom.

    • War of the Worlds was painted on a large (36” x 48”) canvas, so I had room to create a complex scene. I also used this image to explore the idea of harmonic proportion, which is the classical link between mathematics and art.

      Starting in the Middle Ages, many artists and architects believed there was a certain geometric proportion (called “the golden ratio”) that was the most aesthetically pleasing in various forms of design. War of the Worlds follows the golden ratio with regard to object placement.

      Arranging these components to fit this aesthetic was a challenge. I spent hours in Photoshop with individual photos of the toys, composing the overall scene. Once I got an arrangement that worked, I had to recreate it in the studio and incorporate the lighting to produce those great shadows.

      Other details

      There is so much going on in this scene - from the chalkboard with actual astrophysics formulae to the trompe l’oieil blue painter’s tape and scraps of paper. To learn more about this painting, I invite you to see my War of the Worlds video playlist on YouTube. There, I show all my steps, from set up, to lighting, to painting details like blue tape and string.

    • All Richard Hall prints are limited edition and hand-signed and numbered by the artist.

      All of our prints are finished with a coating that protects the print and enhances light-fastness; we use the highest quality pigmented inks with an estimated lifetime of 118 years.

      Canvas giclées: Edition of 50 (for all sizes), signed and numbered on the back of the piece. Archivally mounted or stretched and hand-coated with protectant. Framed canvas giclées are hand-framed in our studio with an espresso-colored frame with gold-tone lip. Unframed canvas giclées should not be framed with glass.

      Paper giclées: Edition of 250 for 12” x 16” sizes; edition of 125 for 18” x 24”. Printed on high-quality, acid-free paper and comes with a hand-cut mat that fits into a standard-size frame. We recommend that you use a frame with glass to ensure longevity of your paper print.