When I spied a well-thumbed copy of ‘The Art of Patrick Nagel‘ on a Venice Beach book stand, I immediately began to thumb the volume …
Memories immediately came, … welling up.
In the 1980’s… Patrick Nagel’s amazingly stylized posters and serigraphs were hung in night clubs, living rooms, art studios…
They were to be seen like pretty much everywhere in South Florida where I was living at the time.
On seeing a book of Nagel’s work, in the context of 2011, thoughts bubbled up …
Was Nagel precursor to, and perhaps inspiration for, the 21st Century’s smoothed simplified skin and high contrast images, which are so common in today’s digitally photo retouched graphic art looking photographs of women?
It can easily be believed, he was either the influence for or the early adopter of this stylized beauty look we today view as “Photoshopped”.
It turns out Nagel accomplished his look by an initially simplified and very spartan line drawing,
which part of the creative process he loved.
This was followed by adding color, usually acrylic on board, which coloring process he found laborious… Go figure.
Another interesting fact, Nagel lived from 1945-1984… this explains his vanishing from the scene at the top of his game at the young age of only 38 …
This successful graphic artist, famous for his stylised posters of idealized beauty in women, whose serigraphs sold for $5,000 during his short life, had passed on in his prime.
The volume is 12″ x 9″ x 0.5″, 159 pages, and is mostly color images of Nagel’s graphics.
There are a few of his line drawings, some of which have the finished colored piece so you can view before and after.
I loved the foreword.
It is here I learned about Patrick’s untimely passing and about his creative process…
There are quotes from Joan Collins, Hugh Hefner and others giving essential context to Nagel’s life and work.
Nagel’s reach was far indeed.
While you may not have heard of Elena, she was curator of the poster collection for the Library of Congress at the time of publication (1985).
If you love Nagel’s work, are looking for a bit of inspiration, or perhaps wish to engage in a bit of nostalgia, ‘The Art of Patrick Nagel‘ is available used from under $ 1.00 on Amazon by clicking here.
For a listing of Books Reviewed on GlamourPhotography.co, click here.