Thursday, December 5, 2019

Not quite a mirror image

Now and again on this blog share examples of photos and paintings that bear a strong resemblance to a work by Bolles. Just as with the case from my previous post of a Bolles magazine cover and cover of Playboy, this connection can be serendipitous. But when the other magazine cover was a painting, it's almost always a swipe from Bolles. I've also discussed how the pinup paintings done by other illustrators were often almost exact of reference photos taken by the artists.
In particular, the pinup artists Moran and in particular, Elvgren were known for this.  As you can see below in the photo of the cover of a book on Elvgren, they even celebrated it. 

On the left you can see an example showing both the reference photo and final painting by Elvgren.  And below it you can see a very similar Bolles cover from 1935. It's the earliest example of this pose I've found so I'm giving credit to Bolles for originating it. Elvgren wasn't the only pinup artist who was inspired by this idea and by the time he did his version, he may have taken the idea from someone else than Bolles, because several other artists had swiped the idea, as you can see on this post about the fire pole girls.  

But I won't be one to criticize. As the old adage goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  Or as the comic book artist Wally Wood aptly put it: 
1) Never draw what you can swipe 
2) Never swipe what you can trace 
3) Never trace what you can photocopy 
4) Never photocopy what you can clip and paste down

The illustrator Murray Tinklemann had his own ideas about the matter:: 
Influence is when you steal from dead guys.
Imitation is when you steal from living artists and
Plagiarism is when you steal from me.

It makes you wonder what our man Enoch would've had to say about the matter.