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Harry Houdini was a Hungarian-born American magician and escapologist. Milk Can Escape, Chinese Water Torture Cell, Suspended Straitjacket Escape or Buried Alive Stunt were some of his famous performances: he captivated audiences worldwide, and his legendary escapes instill awe to this day.
These days an exhibition about his figure is taking place at the Jewish Museum of New York city, and before my next visit I wanted to learn more about Houdini and make my tribute illustration.
From all his performances, Chinese Water Torture Cell was his most successful one, so I thought I could get a good effect fitting the cell in the canvas and making it fill the whole illustration, like there is no extra space, no air to breath. This is the sketch:
The most relevant visual details are his “retro” bathing suit and his hair, they are going to tell us who he is although we can´t see his face.
Apart from that, the most important parts of the illustration are the handcuffs, chains and cage: they are what the illustration talks about and we need them to look heavy and unbreakable. These are the references I used: