Thursday, September 30, 2021

Richard Taylor: Surrealistic Curves

Cartoonist Richard Taylor (1902-1970) frequently visited the subject of the female nude in art. An original illustration on that topic was sold on eBay in August and seems to be commenting on Surrealism itself.

Clearly, a painter is seen transforming a reclining female figure into an abstraction on canvas, but why is the model floating in the air in the first place? Why are there surrealistic elements like the geometric hedges and the one-legged chair? What of the incongruous objects: the watering can and, on the chair, the carrot and the fork? And is that an onion? The original subject of this illustration may have been creating art in a surreal world, or perhaps painting one's dreams. 

Richard Taylor's signature

There are no publisher's markings on the back.

Richard Taylor
eBay listing ended August 18, 2021

Richard Taylor
eBay item description

Richard Taylor
eBay bid history
The winning bid is placed early, followed by six failed bids.

Note:  Was this Richard Taylor illustration ever published and, if so, where and when? If you know, do tell.


Wednesday, September 29, 2021

The CartoonStock Caption Contest #139

We have arrived at the close of the CartoonStock Caption Contest #139. These contests will now last for two weeks through at least the end of the year. My three entries may be seen below. The drawing is by Dan Misdea.

"The Amazing Race headed inland six years ago."
"Are you here for the pub crawl?"
"Your clothes are so last year."

October 13, 2021 Update:  The Winner


Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Vip for Jensen Phonograph Needles

Jeff Nelson shares my admiration for the wildly creative advertising work of Virgil Partch, or Vip. Jeff writes:

A few weeks back I happened to be browsing through a microfilm reel of Downbeat magazine, looking for something completely different, when I was surprised and delighted to find a long series of Vip ads, running irregularly from 1953 to 1960, for Jensen record needles. They are outstanding! The problem is that the microfilm itself was in poor condition—I doubt that anybody had looked at it in decades, if ever. So the images are dark...

A few of the same ads also ran in Esquire in 1958, so I have added them...

As you can see, Jeff has put together the most comprehensive portfolio you will find anywhere of the Virgil Partch advertising campaign for Jensen phonograph needles. If I still had a turntable, I would go out today and buy some.

Downbeat, April 22, 1953

Downbeat, May 20, 1953

Downbeat, June 3, 1953

Downbeat, July 15, 1953

Downbeat, August 26, 1953

Downbeat, May 2, 1955

Downbeat, May 30, 1955

Downbeat, June 27, 1955

Downbeat, September 19, 1955

Downbeat, October 17, 1955

Downbeat, November 14, 1955

Downbeat, December 2, 1955

Esquire, March 1958,  page 150

Downbeat, March 7, 1956

Downbeat, April 4, 1956

Downbeat, May 2, 1956

Downbeat, May 30, 1956

Downbeat, September 19, 1956

Downbeat, November 14, 1956

Downbeat, December 12, 1956

Downbeat, January 9, 1958

Downbeat, February 5, 1958

Downbeat, March 6, 1958

Esquire, April 1958, page 158

Downbeat, April 3, 1958

Esquire, May 1958, page 150

Downbeat, May 6, 1958

Downbeat, May 23, 1958

Downbeat, June 26, 1958

Esquire, September 1958, page 144

Downbeat, March 19, 1959

Downbeat, April 30, 1959

Downbeat, May 28, 1959

Downbeat, June 25, 1959

Downbeat, July 23, 1959

Downbeat, August 20, 1959

Downbeat, January 31, 1960

Downbeat, February 18, 1960

Downbeat, March 18, 1960

Note:  My sincere thanks to Jeff Nelson for doing his homework. This is his eighth contribution to this blog and it has the highest fidelity of any to date.

Often I ask readers to contribute scans or photos of original art, but published rarities, such as these Vip ads hidden away in obscurity for the past sixty-plus years, are also highly prized here.

For the record—no pun intended—I believe the year 2007 was the last time this advertising campaign by Virgil Partch was given any real play. That was on a blog called I'm Learning to Share. Go ahead, give it a spin here. To be sure, only two Jensen ads appear in the post, but one of them is not a part of Jeff's trove.