Saturday, July 18, 2009

Al Parker: "... ideas of quality that are echoed in the work of today."

"I think one of the things I like best about illustration is the fact that things are always changing. It's always tomorrow."
-- Al Parker, 1964


"The magazines of the early 1940s concentrated on new formats for entertaining their most important reader: the young housewife and mother. The need was met in editorial art by depicting an idealized world peopled with handsome men and gorgeous women."
-- Al Parker


"Prettiness prevailed, and warts and all were a no-no."
-- Al Parker


"Art involves a constant metamorphosis . . . due both to the nature of the creative act and to the ineluctable march of time."
-- Al Parker


"The old style was dead and the problem was not of finding a new one to supplant it, but one of somehow breathing life into the inert gesture."
-- Al Parker


"While one gleans from his output so many escapists pictures, with an air of consciously-sought charm and a craftsmanship to the point of prodigality, these escapist illustrations had ideas of quality that are echoed in the work of today."
-- Al Parker ("[writing] in defense of himself, using the third person as if describing another")


This is the 999th post on Today's Inspiration. Tomorrow, some thoughts on the first thousand and (hopefully) the next thousand.

* The third and fifth images are courtesy of Marvin Friedman. The other four are courtesy of Charlie Allen. Many thanks to both gentlemen for generously sharing these images from their personal files with us.

* The Al Parker quotes are taken from the program book of the NRM's 2007 Al Parker exhibition, "Ephemeral Beauty" (which is still available at a very reasonable price) and from the exhibit text reproduced at the Traditional Fine Arts Organization website.

* My Al Parker Flickr set.

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