Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Frank Frazetta - 1928- 2010

The Death Dealer comes for us all - even Frank Frazetta, the illustrator who almost single-handedly shaped the id of the 20th century teenaged boy; put the thew in Conan; and painted the covers of three-quarters of the paperbacks I read in 1979, easy.

I would say Rest in Peace, but in Mr. Frazetta's case, I can't imagine how that would work.

1 comment:

PixelFish said...

At work, where most of my coworkers are artists or know who Frazetta is for other reasons, we speculated on a round-limbed Art Valkyrie armed with paintbrushes and palettes carrying off Frank to Art Valhalla. Art Valhalla is where you paint all day without deadlines looming over or rent to be paid and where there is no client spec.

Frank's artwork wasn't always my cup of tea, but almost every woman artist I talked to yesterday said the same thing: "Frank drew women as women." Sure, he still had the metal bikini thing going on and his women were sensuous, but they were RECOGNISABLE to us as our bodies. They weren't lean stick creatures with absurd breasts and painfully torqued spines. He often modelled from his wife, Ellie, and thank god for it. His cover of the Moon Maid, for example, shows a beautiful woman with muscle and cellulite. I mean, he could paint FRICKIN' cellulite and make it beautiful...something which you don't see much of in today's hyper-airbrushed world.

http://i.newsarama.com/images/moonmaid_c1.jpg

Or check out this piece:
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Y6Omm_donlc/SyPIWQNiMaI/AAAAAAAAA0M/KeFZCdNQC54/s1600-h/FrankFrazetta-The-Moons-Rapture-1987.jpg

No weird spinal issues. No inflated bosoms. One confident and beautiful woman who looked like our bodies looked. It's too bad his many imitators only saw "skin deep" as it were.

He could do amazing things with colour, light, form, and composition. He might splash on a bit of colour that you might not think of, purples and bronzes and greens and teals, and it would somehow turn into skin under the moonlight or a rippling monster. I remember staring at one of his works and his colour use seeping into my paintings shortly thereafter.

As I said, he often used his wife as a model. I love this picture of her posing for him--it shows such character, you can see why she might inspire him to paint her again and again.

http://drexfiles.wordpress.com/2009/08/07/rest-in-peace-ellie-frazetta/

Anyway, sad to hear about Frank Frazetta.