Frank Frazetta died yesterday as many of you know, and I just felt like I needed to say something about him. I was introduced to his art officially in art school. This was the first image that was shown to me
This painting had such an immediate impact on me. I think I had been on the fence about which direction I should take my art, I've never felt I have any strong message to push on people, and abstract art always felt forced when I tried to do it. This image instantly let me know that I could pursue fantasy art and not feel ashamed or like I was wasting my time. Everything is working in "The Mammoth", he has all his darkest darks and lightest lights together to draw the eye toward the center focus of the painting, the curves of the tusks contain the viewer completely on the action, and the curve of the man's leg into his back gives a wonderful sense of forward movement towards the Mammoth. What Frazetta always did best was showing what was needed to be shown to make the image successful, and nothing else. He could have put monkeys jumping away from the broken trees, or he could have made it a herd of mammoths, but that wasn't the point of the piece, it's an intimate showdown moment.
Since I saw this first image, I became completely obsessed, as I'm sure a lot of you have, with all things Frazetta. He had perfectly iconic style to him, everyone could instantly see who he was and who the knock-offs were. I think the thing that amazed me so much, which I have always wanted to replicate, was his amazing sense of atmosphere. You can look at any Frazetta painting and see it, he could just put a tone down and painting just the highlights of a man in the background create a perfectly ominous, fully realized bag guy.
And of course there were his women, his iconic women. The antithesis to the fashionable standards of what women are supposed to look like, here was a man that was painting women as men want women to look. The faces always kinda weirded me out, I have to say, all his women seem cat-like, with their high cheek bones and the way he would curve their lips, never seemed natural, though they did always look like they belonged in the worlds he painted. These women where more one with nature.
Now I'll leave you with a couple of my favorites.
Thanks Frank for all you've given me.