Chris Achilleos · Connections · Frank Frazetta

Connections: Frank Frazetta and Chris Achilleos

What interests me about these juxtapositions is not merely Achilleos’s obvious debt to Frazetta but that each of the artists revised his original composition after first publication. Whether the compositions are better or worse now, you can decide for yourself. In both instances, however, the changes were probably driven by what I like to call “the tyranny of second thoughts.” That is, once one gets it into one’s head that improvements are possible, it is damned difficult to resist sacrificing what one has for the promise of something better.

Book/Magazine Covers (All) · Connections · Frank Frazetta · Illustration Art

Connections: Frazetta and Maren


Dig the fancy bladework of the attacker in Maren’s painting!


Keywords: The Black Star by Lin Carter, Frank Frazetta, Conan, Maren, Mariano Pérez Clemente.

Bill Sienkiewicz · Book/Magazine Covers (All) · Connections · Illustration Art · J. C. Leyendecker · Look Here

Connections: Leyendecker and Sienkiewicz

Old news, I know… but anyway… it’s the style that’s important here:


An homage done the right way by Sienkiewicz!

(If you know of a closer match, please feel free to post a link in the comments. I don’t have time to search… )

Book/Magazine Covers (All) · Connections · Illustration Art · J. C. Leyendecker · Maxfield Parrish

Connections: Leyendecker (1918) and Pound (1980)


BONUS IMAGE (added 21 January 2016):

Connections · Illustration Art · Jeffrey "Jeff" Catherine Jones · Look Here · Photos

Connections: Jeffrey Jones and the great unknown

Stumbling around on tumblr today, I came across an uncredited image that reminded me of something I had seen before…

If anyone recognizes that photo and can tell me when and where it was published, I’d love to hear from you. And if you have a copy of the publication and could supply me with a better scan, well, that’d be just peachy.

UPDATE (22 June 2015):

Thanks to the inspired efforts of an anonymous reader (see the comments section below), we now have the precise context for Jones’s “reference photo” posted above. The source is a photo layout titled “Secrets From My Diary,” shot by J. Frederick Smith, for the December 1973 issue of VIVA (vol. 1, no. 3). And thanks to the efforts of fans on the VFILES site, we can view the photo in the context of the original NSFW article/layout:


The scans are small, yes, even if you click to enlarge them, but the information is much appreciated. Thanks, hsc!

Connections · Look Here

Look Here: Seven vivacious Audio Fidelity album covers, 1956-1960

Earlier this morning over at my tumblr, TRANSISTORADIO, I posted scans of seven vibrant, sexy album covers created by designers and photographers whose names are unknown to me for Audio Fidelity recordings released from 1956 to 1960. On tumblr, I generally prefer to post one image at a time, but I thought people here might like to view my selections all together, in a single post:


I originally copied the above scans from links posted on this page at the Syracuse University Libraries website. Well done, SUL!

Album Covers · Connections · Illustration Art

Connections: Neil Young (1974) and Supertramp (1975)


Keywords: On the Beach by Neil Young, Crisis? What Crisis? by Supertramp.

Connections · Fine Art · Look Here

Connections: Eugène Delacroix and Jeff Wall

I’m sure there are many skeptical viewers out there who roll their eyes whenever I post speculative “connections” like my last one (or this one from 2011), so today I’ve decided to post a connection that the artist himself has said was deliberate. Take a look, and perhaps ask yourself if you would have noticed Jeff Wall’s formal references to Delacroix’s Death of Sardanapalus (1827) if the connection hadn’t been pointed out to you:


Here’s how Wall interprets his own work:

[…] When I made The Destroyed Room, I worked in reference to the design of commercial window displays of clothing and furniture. I think of these as tableaux morts as opposed to tableau vivants. At the time, they had become very violent, mainly because of an influence from the punk phenomenon which was quickly filtering into the whole cultural economy. At the same time, the picture’s subject matter had something to do with aggression, violence, and revenge in domestic life. I was very interested in Delacroix’s Death of Sardanapalus, partly because I was lecturing on Romanticism. I think the Sardanapalus is a very important picture, historically and psychologically, because it shows the eroticized ideal of military glory which characterized the Napoleonic period being turned inward, back toward domestic life at the end of that epoch, at the beginning of the modern, bourgeois, neurotic private life. This painting interested me as a kind of crystal. My subject was made with this crystal, by passing my ideas and feelings through the historical prism of another work. I felt that this made the subject richer, more suggestive, more aggressive. It was important to filter The Destroyed Room through this other picture because I think I was trying to establish a space for myself by suggesting which historical directions and problems were important to me.

I know that in some ways this is a very artificial way of going about things, very manneristic even, but it was a way to begin, and I had to begin.

[SOURCE: “Typology, Luminescence, Freedom: Selections from a Conversation with Jeff Wall,” in Jeff Wall. Selected Essays and Interviews (New York, NY: The Museum of Modern Art, 2007), pp. 186-87.]


In The Destroyed Room, I was interested in a “remaking” of an existing image, a sort of mannerist attitude toward it. The Delacroix painting seemed very modern to me. I see a lot of so-called “old” art that way. Why shouldn’t we be able to relate to it as contemporary? […]

I was particularly interested in violence at that time, for whatever reason. I was teaching at the university, concentrating on the earlier part of the nineteenth century, and got intrigued by the way that monumental paintings — Delacroix’s preeminent among them — wove together themes of war and military glory, on the one hand, and the conflicts of private life on the other. The intertwining of these two spheres is almost emblematic of that whole period.

[SOURCE: “A Democratic, a Bourgeois Traditon of Art: A Conversation with Jeff Wall by Anne-Marie Bonnet and Rainer Metzger,” in Jeff Wall. Selected Essays and Interviews (New York, NY: The Museum of Modern Art, 2007), p. 246.]

In other words, and in short, not every connection between two works of art is what comic-book guys would dismiss as a swipe.