Thursday, October 23, 2008

Which Came First?



My Bolles pal, the artist Jared Joslin (check out his link on this page) sent me this photo by Paul Outerbridge dated 1937. He thought that Bolles used it as a reference and so did I until I noticed that the Bolles cover was published in 1935. But now I think that Outerbridge borrowed from Bolles. He wouldn't be the first as I've found plenty of other examples, done both by photographers and artists.



Here's another example form 1927 and I'm pretty sure that the Bolles image came first. The caption on the photo was taken right off the magazine cover.

Now the next two go the other direction. These were photos that Bolles used for inspiration. For me what is most interesting is the changes that Bolles made in the covers. I've seen photos used by pinup illustrators such as Elvgren where the fidelity between photo and painting so close that you can superimpose them. On the other hand Bolles used these photos as a starting point but it was rare that his depictions bordered on a copy.


The example below is something different. The photo is of a model posing in Bolles' studio. But again you can see that the photo was just a starting point of what ended up being a very different looking image. I have a number of photos of models that Bolles used and what is interesting is that you would never recognize any of them from the paintings.




5 comments:

marco pedrana said...

Great to see you back my friend, your blog has just been saved in my faves! :)

best wishes to it for a long and cool career!

Jack R said...

Hi Marco,
Glad you are here! I'll have some new Bolles surprises so stay tuned. By the way I love your new work on flickr.

wentworth said...

I think the concept of influence of photos v. paintings and vice versa is very problematic for this reason: certain poses were the norm back then. Check out victorian photography (as I know you have) and you will see many poses that are straight Bolles - a book to look at in this regard is Les Annee Folles isbn 978-2-916394-14-5; it is if it is a photographic catalogue of Bolles' models from the poses to the girls. The photos all appear to be from around 1930.....and they are all photographed in France. I know with the advent of photography poses that were overly dramatic were sought modeled on greek drama and statues. Bolles took the poses to an art form, but I believe they were standard poses at the time....

wentworth said...

I add one more thought to my comment above; given that the book I cite was published in France, I wonder if Bolles ever had the chance to travel to paris or have an instructor who would have taught him the power of those poses (assuming the are french in origin as evidenced by the photobook)?

Jack R said...

No, Bolles wasn't doing any traveling to Paris. He was too busy working in the States for any excursions. As far as I know, his formal art education ended around 1914.