“Bumpy was rich, but he wasn't white man rich, you see he wasn't wealthy. He didn't own his own company. He thought he did, but he didn't. He just managed it. White man owned it so they owned him. Nobody owns me, though.”
Released in 2007 Ridley Scott directed American Gangster which follows Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington) who earns his living as a chauffeur to one of Harlem's leading mobsters, Bumpy Johnson. After Bumpy dies, Frank uses his own ingenuity and strict business code to become one of the inner city's most powerful crime bosses. Meanwhile, veteran cop Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe) whose life is disorganised and in chaos is on his trail.
Influences on the film are clear to see throughout, you can see inspirations from obviously Superfly and Shaft. Even in Scarface and the story of the rise of the gangster, although the main protagonists are worlds apart in Scarface Tony Montana is completely out of control wherein American gangster Lucas is cool and calculated. Serpico in the 70s aesthetic and police corruption especially when the film shifts to Roberts POV.
Washington and Crowe are at the peak of their acting chops and create two characters who are interesting and the performances ensure you can't keep your eyes off the screen.
With this piece I wanted to show off the 70s aesthetic, especially the orange tones of 70s movie posters such as Pam Grier's ‘Friday Foster’.
It was pencilled, inked by hand and then digitally coloured. Available in 12” or 20” Giclee prints on 310gsm material.
American Gangster created April 27th 2022
- Limited to 50 copies
- Printed using Giclee and Hahnemühle German Etching 310 (gsm) paper for a superior handmade feel.
-Includes 1" border for mounting.