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by Profiles in History
December 11, 2015, 11:00 AM PST | Calabasas, CA, US    Live Auction

Lot 14: (Frazetta) Tarzan and the Castaways cover. (751 views)

(Frazetta) Tarzan and the Castaways cover.
Estimate: $40,000 - $60,000

14. (Frazetta) Tarzan and the Castaways cover. (1965) “Tarzan and Princess”. Accomplished in pencil, pen and ink on 9 x 11.5 in. artists’ leaf. Top collector and comic art historian Roger Hill proclaimed this piece as Frank’s finest pen/brush work. He said this during a visit to my home while standing in front of the original art. Agree or disagree, but there is no denying it is one of Frank’s top three illustrations. The command over the textures, the design, the forms, and light is simple perfection. No one else in the world has ever been able to draw like this. Unsurpassed in quality. Note the subtle dappled light on the princess’s bottom. Sheer genius. There are light handling stains around the perimeter. Nothing major. Frazetta is famous for knowing when to leave detail out and when to include it. Much of his success in painting relies on suggestiveness and selection. A piece such as the extraordinary cover to Tarzan and the Castaways is rare in that it incorporates a wealth of detail. By far it is the most lavishly textured drawing that Frazetta ever produced. Thick vegetation, an ancient temple, exotic trees, and dappled light provide a rich and soupy atmosphere for Tarzan’s escape to the jungle. This is a work of pure fun and, yet, it is a completely sophisticated tour de force that features multiple pen and brush techniques. Yes, Frazetta is showing off a bit, but the viewer loves it. Frazetta comments, “Dave, as much as you love my work, believe me when I say that I love it even more. I’m my best fan. I love looking at my stuff; it gives me a thrill, it really does. If I’m happy with a piece, then I’m pretty sure that others will like it too. The major sin in art is to be boring. I don’t want to bore the audience and I certainly don’t want to bore myself. That’s why I try to always come up with something new and fresh. Repetition really serves no purpose.” There is a bright sparkle that resonates throughout this image. Tarzan has hoisted the beautiful princess on his shoulders and presents her delicious bottom to us. We can almost feel the smooth porcelain skin as rendered by the soft and incisive lines. The dappled light ribbons on her backside only reinforce the erotic display and present a carefree sensuality. Tarzan’s grip makes a soft impression on her skin; we feel the touch with our eye. We revel in the wild vitality of the scene and delight in savoring all the varied textures; each one masterfully presented. Skin, stone, metal, foliage, and hair are all real and fascinating to behold, to contemplate. Even the distinctive signature is applied in a cascading style that mirrors the steps from the background temple. Frazetta presents a world of romance and adventure that we never want to leave. I have always maintained that Frazetta transcends the limiting categories of comic book artist, or fantasy artist, or illustrator. He is, purely and simply, a creative artist of the highest accomplishment. This piece is a testament to that fact. It transcends illustration.
$40,000 - $60,000


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Lot 14: (Frazetta) Tarzan and the Castaways cover.
Profiles in History
DocDave Winiewicz Frazetta Collection
December 11, 2015, 11:00 AM PST