Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Bikini Day was yesterday

I'm not going to let another year pass before I have the excuse to celebrate Bikini day with a great Bolles painting, this one a photo of the original work that appeared on the cover of the December 1937 issue of Spicy Stories.  This image is not from the Heritage auction where the painting sold a year or so ago but by a photographer I'd hired nearly 10 years back, long before the painting had be publicly 'outed'.  Several other of my 'secret' finds have have ended up at auction but I still have at least 30 paintings of covers that have not seen the light of day, and which I hope to include in the Bolles book I've written and am still trying to get published.  

More about that later. For now lets enjoy one of Enoch's most inventive take on what years later would be recognized as a bikini. If you are wondering what's with the white aura surrounding our lovely Bolles girl, it's simply a border of titanium white, enough to help the printer but also no more than necessary.  This was a cost saving measure employed by the frugal Bolles which many other cover artists used when the composition was going to be printed against a pure white background.  I've seen several Bolles paintings for sale at auctions where at some point along the way the raw canvas was filled in to match.  Too bad in my mind as I rather see the hand of Bolles at work. Enjoy!

13 comments:

wentworth said...

I just bought a Judge magazine which has a man an woman underwater on the cover; while ostensibly romantic it does have tension as one could interpret it as him trying to drown her. It occurred to me that male artists often paint themselves as the men in covers - I've seen it with plenty of illustrators that they are their own model. I've only seen one other male painted by Bolles (well two if you include Santa Claus). So, I think we have at least two self portraits of Bolles and if one wants to psychoanalyze one could read into the artwork as reflecting his balancing act with women.

Jack R said...

As you note Bolles painted scant few covers that included men (I'll have to do a count someday). Of these I can safely say, none appear to be self-portraits and this to me makes sense as Bolles was not a self-promoter. The polar opposite to him would be JM Flagg who stuck his visage into a painting at nearly every opportunity (including his most famous painting (Uncle Sam, "I want you"). I also think Bolles was not that good at depicting men, there are some exceptions to thia and I think his best efforts where when he had models. I'll try and post a few examples of them soon. Thanks for your comments!

wentworth said...

jack- why do you believe none are self portraits? I thought there are no photos of the late great Mr. Bolles....or are there? Thanks!

Jack R said...

Yes, I have a number of photos of Enoch from a young age (3!) to his 90s. I included a few in my articles on him from Illustration magazine and provided one for the recent pinup book that Dian Hanson published through Taschen. I've yet to see a male in his work who bears a resemblance to him.

wentworth said...

The only photo I've seen of him is the one online - he is an older gentleman in a suit; it looks exactly like the image of the cover of the man and women on Judge that I have; although all covers of men I've seen show the man in profile and the photo is face on; but the hair and face structure are exactly the same. So I disagree with you.

Jack R said...

Well, that photo (which was taken directly from my Illustration Magazine article but never properly attributed to it) is from his daughter Theresa's wedding, and it was taken in 1939. The judge cover you refer to was painted some 15 years earlier. If you have the issue of Illustration magazine that has my article you'll see a younger photo of Enoch. A big difference is that he was already losing his hair in the mid-20s. I have a photo of Enoch at the beach with the same swimsuit but there's no resemblance that I can see but I'll take another look. Sorry but you'll have to wait for the book to come out to see that photo. I've got to keep some stuff original for it :)

wentworth said...

what is your time frame for the book - I look forward to it! As to the hair - if you are bald or balding (I assume not) you'd know that most bald artists would give themselves hair as a sort of wish fulfillment. What I'm pointing to is that the facial features in the photo and cover are distinctive. But do you have any profile photos of him because he seems to paint his men always in profile (probably because they are less interesting support roles and profile is easier to draw)

Unknown said...

No time frame per se. It all depends on my agent landing a publisher. I'm not bald yet (knock on wood) but I understand exactly what you mean. I think Bolles simply was not so good at depicting men when he didn't have a model standing in front of him. Whereas he did just fine with women, although he did frequently work with female models.

Brandon Dawley said...

Admin email testing.

Jonnyboy said...
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Jonnyboy said...
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Unknown said...

Hi Jack, love the blog.

We are interested in using some of Enoch Bolles's art for commercial purpose. Can you tell me where I can acquire license and digital copies of the image for the same.

Jonnyboy said...

Thank you for maintaining this blog! Please keep us all updated on the status of your book!!!