Guys and Dolls revisited
October 29, 2007 8:06 AM   Subscribe

Owen Smith, is a painter in the social realist milieu and has been commissioned among others by The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, and Atlantic Monthly. His paintings recall the covers of Pulp magazines and paperback novels of the 1940's and 50's.
posted by adamvasco (11 comments total)

 
Don't Ask

Geddit? Because there's a policy called "Don't Ask Don't Tell" that applies to gays in the military? And it's a picture of two gays? And the military is symbolized by the military men in the background.

A work of breathtaking nuance and depth.
posted by DU at 8:29 AM on October 29, 2007


I never thought pop art was supposed to be subtle.
posted by GuyZero at 8:35 AM on October 29, 2007


There's unsubtle and there's I've Fallen And I Can't Get Up.

I like the colors, though.
posted by DU at 8:38 AM on October 29, 2007


I like the stuff that doesn't have an obvious "message." His messages remind me of what I painted when it was me vs. The World (aka "adolescence").
posted by katillathehun at 8:53 AM on October 29, 2007


He is an illustrator. A good illustrator. In fact, he teaches illustration.

DeKooning was a painter.
posted by R. Mutt at 9:04 AM on October 29, 2007


I was arguing with myself about this R. Mutt. However Diego de Rivera, one of Owen Smith's great influences was a painter, and these are coloured illustrations. Whatever.
Apparantly he has done some good public work but I can't find any of it.
DU do you have a message here? It kind of got lost in the dust storm. I don't really have much interest in the American Military except that so many of them are in the wrong country.
posted by adamvasco at 9:24 AM on October 29, 2007


I like his New Yorker covers, often done for special issues. They mix the low-brow style of pulp covers with the middle-brow (at least) content you expect inside.
posted by gwyon at 12:36 PM on October 29, 2007


Adamvasco, thanks. Do want. A lot.

Very reminiscent of Paul Cadmus, one of my all-time faves.
posted by John of Michigan at 1:31 PM on October 29, 2007


John of Michgan -- I second you on Paul Cadmus. If he hadn't been (with all due respect) such a wide-open flamer, he would be hailed as the greatest draftsman since Da Vinci.
posted by Faze at 4:59 PM on October 29, 2007


And another thing, if Owen Smith had actually been painting in the 1930s, 40s or 50s, he would have starved to death, because every friggin' illustrator alive then could draw like an old master, and the skill level for painting was so high, that the comparatively heavy-handed Smith would have come off as crude, crude, crude. I mean, if you can ever pick up an original piece of artwork from the golden age of American illustration, hang on to it. Someday, people are going to figure out that the 30s-50s was a great period of American art -- perhaps the greatest -- and no thanks to Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning.
posted by Faze at 5:52 PM on October 29, 2007


Wait a minute wait a minute wait a minute.

Paul Cadmus was gay? No, he wasn't. I met him in NYC way back in the day, and we were making out, and I tried to put my tongue in his mouth, but he wouldn't let me.

No, he was straight, man.
posted by John of Michigan at 6:44 PM on October 29, 2007


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