Thursday, May 13, 2010

Isn't the real opposition...

...this...



...as opposed to this?



And isn't the choice a bit easier, now?

8 comments:

Tulkinghorn said...

I'm really sorry. I had no idea.

I'm going to have to poke my eyes out now.....

Muffy St. Bernard said...

Neither of these are art, because neither has a barbarian holding a flaming skull.

I wouldn't want EITHER picture on the side of my van!

Tulkinghorn said...

You know what? That's not really fair...

Over at Golden Age Comic Book Stories, you can see a great deal of his much better work, including his Conan paintings, for which no apologies need be made, and some wonderfully evocative illustrations for an unpublished edition of the Pellucidar books:

http://goldenagecomicbookstories.blogspot.com/2010/05/frank-frazetta-burroughs-artist-frank.html

Generic said...

This image as a spotlight purely on his sexual sensibility.

Generic said...

Said sensibiltiy evident in the better work, too, IOW, though as only one element, which reduces the impact somewhat.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

I fear I may have been unclear earlier in my ref to "arested development." I think it's likely that with the exception of the very few us who have achieved a perfected, full maturity (Anyone? Show of hands?), most of us are more or less stunted or arrested. C'st la condition humaine.

Tulkinghorn said...

Ahem....

"Arrested" against "Perfected" is, of course, a false opposition.

There's always growth and change.

Also I wasn't accusing Muffy of being unfair, but myself for basing my preference for blindness on an absolutely, perfectly, horrifyingly awful painting.

Christian Lindke said...

The Wired piece may have used the word sexual in their claim of adolescence, but it is clear by the van reference that the claim was being extended to all of his work.

As I wrote earlier, it is not his "nudes" that I find appealing. I am little impressed with them. It is his use of line and palette, which I think are easily defensible against any artist of the 20th century. Compare his work to the far more adolescent fare of Boris Vallejo and you'll see what I mean.

BTW, I would assert that Matisse's nudes are adolescent -- maybe even childish -- in their celebration of the "natural" maternal figure. I would also criticize Goya's Nude Maja. The whimsical coy expression on her face embodies the adolescence of the imagery.

By no means are all nudes adolescent. There is nothing adolescent about a genuine celebration of the naked human form. It is only adolescent when there is an immature sexual desire inserted into the imagery -- the naked woman and tiger painting above is a perfect example.

I am not saying that none of Frazetta's paintings were adolescent, just that an obituary mourning the loss of an important commercial illustrator should offer more than implications that Frazetta's paintings are only useful as van illustrations for the bong hitting crowd.

YOUR assertion may be that his nudes are adolescent, while his other work may or may not be, but I am firm in my belief that the Wired piece and you disagree in this regard.

I readily concede that he has many adolescent paintings, any commercial artist who works as prolifically and commercially driven as he does will have a good number of them -- market demands being what they are.

I wrote earlier that his nudity is what I find most dull about his work. One look at his Gandalf

http://frankfrazetta.org/viewimage.php?loc=f21.jpg

and you begin to see what I mean by his line work.

Generic said...

I don't know. I think the muscle guys with huge swords are also kinda... Well, you know.

And Frazetta always seems bombastic, always trying to knock our socks off with bigness, power, lavish detail. A self-conscious virtuoso.

The difference between that and "fine art," if we want to go there, may have something to do with the latter's disintersted genuine regard for the subject in the attempt to evoke its qualities. Which is why I'd expect Tulk to like FF a little more than he seems to, if you've followed our earlier debates. (FF in his worked-up-ness is a bit more like Nabokov than is Renoir, who swallows his technique. Or something.)

The Matisse nudes seem too stylized, to me, to be truly adolescent -- or am I wrong to think that to fully qualify an image has to have a twinge of pornography?

The Renoir, OTOH, looks like art created by a guy who probably was turned on by his model -- but as a grown up. The Mary Gordon novel I quoted here...

http://blogaddress-generic.blogspot.com/2010/04/sometimes-smallness-of-what-i-do-shames.html

...is on point: It's about a painter, female, who decides to use her lover as her model and to express her desire for him in the images, wrestling along the way with art school taboos against "loving your apples."