This week marks the 50 years since the first ever airing of The Prisoner on ITV here in the U.K. and to celebrate we are releasing these two limited edition screen prints by artist and super fan of The Prisoner, Chris Weston!
Both prints go on sale at www.Vice-Press.com at 6pm U.K. time today!
The Prisoner by Chris Weston
Limited Edition 7 Colour Screen Print
Printed by Lady Lazarus
Hand Numbered Edition of 125
50cm x 70cm
Artist Chris Weston is a huge fan ofThe Prisonerand here is what he had to say on the project:
"I’ve made no secret about how "The Prisoner" is my favourite television show of all time. I first saw it when it was repeated on Channel 4 on Monday nights during 1983-4. All my friends watched it too, and we’d run to school on a Tuesday morning to meet up and discuss what we’d seen the night before. We’d excitedly offer our theories about what it all meant and where it was going. Quite frequently we’d all descend into laughter whilst discussing "The Prisoner" as it had a thick vein of absurdist black humour running through it; something my friends and I really responded to. We’d all try to make each-other laugh by pulling our best imitations of Patrick McGoohan’s facial expressions: the sly smile, the frown of frustration, the medicated bewilderment…
The teenage years are ideally the best time to watch "The Prisoner". As adolescents, we were held captive in an Eighties typically British Comprehensive school, where blazers were still part of the uniform. We adhered to baffling rules and values made by a generation forged in military service. It’s pretty easy to see why Number Six became a hero to us: his uncompromising resolve to rebel against the regimen forced upon him. In most episodes, McGoohan’s Number Six never quite managed to beat the system abusing him, or escape the confines of The Village… but he never gave up! He’d find a way to sour or subvert the victories his tormenters thought they had over him.
Revisiting the show as part of my research for this print project, I was astonished at how well its production values have stood the test of time: "The Prisoner" looks great! Jack Shampan’s imaginative production designs, the costumes, the locations and the sets are all beautiful. It’s “mod” design aesthetic and psychedelic colours make the show seem quintessentially Sixties... and yet, somehow, it is simultaneously timeless. I think that’s how you define “classic”. It is photographed immaculately on 35mm celluloid by Brendan J. Stafford, and in comparison, the cinematography on your average Bond film from the Sixties looks decidedly ropey. Even in the Eighties, twenty years after its first broadcast, “The Prisoner" looked better than everything else on British television (which was mostly shot on nasty video-tape).
I have always wanted to create my own artistic tribute to “The Prisoner”, and I have frequently been asked to produce unofficial prints for the show. For some reason I turned down these offers; in my gut I knew I should hold out until I received an official offer to produce a licensed print. It just didn’t feel respectful otherwise, considering the pleasure this show has given me throughout my life. Fortuitously, my friends at Vice Press offered me the chance to fulfil my lifelong ambition to create a loving artistic homage, timed to coincide with the show's fiftieth anniversary, and these new official silkscreen prints are the result. I could not have been more delighted and I poured heart and soul into the project. I wanted to create "The Prisoner" poster that my school-friends and I would have wanted for our bedroom walls, way back in the Eighties!” - Chris Weston, Artist
The Prisoner Variant by Chris Weston
Limited Edition 2 Colour Screen Print
Printed by Lady Lazarus
Hand Numbered Edition of 60
50cm x 70cm