Friday, June 25, 2010

Frank Frazetta.

Frank Frazetta 2.9.28-5.10.10
One of the first things I can ever remember wanting to be as a kid, following paleontologist, astronomer and scientist of course, -YES, in that order!- was an artist. For years art in particular illustration, held the place of obsession that music holds for me today and I spent countless hours alone in my room teaching myself to draw. To this day I still carry a small sketchbook with me wherever I go and a large portion of my bedroom is taken up by a massive drafting desk filled with art supplies and stacks of old sketchbooks and loose drawings.

A few weeks ago I learned that lost in the noise of May Frank Frazetta, one the artists who first inspired me to do more than just draw, passed away at the age of 82 following a stroke. If you were a fan of Frazetta's work you've no doubt already read all there is to read about his life and recent death but given his influence on my own art and personal tastes I wanted to at least mention him here.

Frank Frazeta was born Febuary 9th 1928 in Brooklyn New York. He began drawing comics in the forties and would eventually become most well known for his cover illustrations on countless fantasy and sci-fi paper backs, magazines and comics as well as movie posters and album covers for artists like Molly Hatchet and Yngwie Malmsteen.

I must admit that since music has become the most consuming part of my life I have not kept up with my own art very well. Much less the lives of the artists who first inspired me in childhood, including Frank. While I was frustrated to learn there was both turmoil and tragedy in the final years of his life including the death of his wife, the arrest of his son and the truly unfortunate quarreling of his family over his estate even before his death. It was nice to learn just how successful he had been as the things which I enjoy tend to be offbeat and unpopular and so the people who make them often struggle to make a living. This was most certainly not the case for Frank. His art hangs in his museum in PA and sold for thousands of dollars within his own lifetime. Recently, along with Frank miller, Frazetta's art broke records at auction and just last year kirk Hammett of Metallica payed a million dollars for this original painting of Conan The Conqueror.

So while it's always sad to see someone who's work or talent you admire or enjoy go. It's nice to know that they were able to achieve success doing what they loved.

Links And Additional Content
I found two tributes on you tube I wanted to share. The first is a short high quality video shot at Frazetta's museum in PA and I thought It was pretty cool to to see the the actual paintings rather than prints. The Conan music however is a little unnecessary. Though in the interest of fairness I should point out I actually own that soundtrack and have it on my iPhone. Posted by Youtube user:pitchfilms

I suppose I should also warn you that like most artists Frank liked to paint naked women. There you've been warned.

The second is a bit longer and is sort of an iTunes album cover style slide show of Frazetta's work. Posted by Youtube user:VisulReviews

Again, illustrated neckedness imminent...

And just because it's one of my favorites, "Nightstalker", 1967 And a quick, sloppy little ink drawing I did of this piece when I was around sixteen or so. Which I had to take a photo of with my phone as I seem to have misplaced the plug to my scanner.

For more of Frank's work do a google search or check out the unofficial online gallery HERE

Image Credits: "Self Portrait, 1962", "Conan The Usurper, 1967", "Conan the Conquerer", 1967, and "Nightstalker", 1962 by: Frank Frazetta
Crappy little ink sketch by: Me
Photo Credit: Unknown
Videos posted by You tube users:pitchfilms and VisulReviews

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