Freeze Frame: Ryan Putnam’s McFly Gear


Ryan Putnam

Editor’s Note: Freeze Frame features a selection of pop culture focused art, because there are new and classy ways to show off your cinematic love.

That vest. Those sneakers. Those Aviators. You don’t even need to see Michael J. Fox’s perpetually youthful face to know exactly what film is being discussed. Marty McFly’s 1985 attire is nearly as iconic as the DeLorean that made all of his time hopping possible. While the sequels may have resulted in diminishing returns in terms of iconic clothing (although Back to the Future Part II does come bearing the gifts of Hoverboards and self-tying Nike MAGs), it’s hard to fault the simplistic brilliance of the first installment. The outfit both perfectly reflected its time period and was accessible enough to the average guy just trying to look like his favorite character.

mcfly gear 1985Ryan Putnam has captured the McFly assemble as part of his ongoing Collections series, being sure to reflect not only what filled Marty’s closet but also the props that rival in importance. His simplistic and illustrative style conjures up nostalgic childhood feelings. It is as if Putnam has shown us just what a picture book version of Back to the Future could’ve been. The pieces work just fine alone, but perhaps best when joined together. The triptych shows the progression of Marty, and how even though the times may change, his style has just a bit of consistency.

mcfly gear 2015The McFly Gear set is available separately in either 8” x 10” ($22) or 13” X 19” ($37). Of course, Putnam also provides the option to take the full plunge and nab all three for $88 (in the 13” x 19” size). All of the prints come on archival rag with premium pigment inks, and are signed and numbered in limited editions of 200 for each.

mcfly gear 1885A self-described designer, illustrator, Dropboxer, potter, father, and explorer, Ryan Putnam imbues all of his work with a definite signature style. While the McFly Gear set certainly shows off his cinematic love, it isn’t his only work to touch upon film. Within his series of Collections are also homages to Ghostbusters and Rankin-Bass’ Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. His other Backlot series, and Avatar collection continue this theme with everything from Psycho to The Big Lebowski. Putnam describes his process as:

…fun, personal, and always forward-looking. His goal is to combine craft functionality with fine art integrity and the exacting principles of design. What he begins with his pencil and moleskine, he brings to life in forms ranging from letterpress to musical instruments, textiles to stickers, logos to coffee cups.

You can purchase Putnam’s work from his store and see all of his work on his website.


About Author

Derek was the only engineer at Northeastern University taking a class on German film and turning a sociology research paper into an examination of Scorsese’s work. Still living in Boston, MA, he blatantly abuses his Netflix account, but can never seem to get his Instant Queue below 200. He continues to fight the stigma that being good at math means you are not any no good at writing. I good write, very much.