Posts Tagged ‘oil painting’

Baby, It’s Cold Outside: Merry Christmas from Susan Bernard, Miss December 1966

December 15, 2010

The lovely and talented Susan Bernard was Playboy’s Miss December, 1966.


Photographed by Mario Casilli and Bruno Bernard.

Like Valentine Vixen Cyndi Wood, Ms. Bernard came from a Hollywood family and, though she was only eighteen, she already had a few credits under her little-looker (5’3″) belt when she appeared in Playboy.


Just before this Christmas Playmate pictorial went to press, our Yuletide miss called us from the Coast with the news that she’d won the ingenue lead in Stranger in Hollywood, a new dramatic film with a tentative title that doesn’t describe Miss December at all.

(“Growing Up Glamorous.” Playboy, December 1966.)


Susan Bernard’s been an Angeleno for all of her 18 years and is the daughter of top Hollywood glamor photographer Bruno Bernard (Bernard of Hollywood) and actress-director Ruth Brande.

(Ibid.)

In fact, her father had worked for Playboy in the past, and took pictures of his daughter for this spread.

Ms. Bernard has said that, when she posed for Mr. Casilli, who was a former apprentice of her father’s, it was the first time she’d been nude in front of anyone other than her mother. She has also cited the fact that, though the article does not touch on her faith background, she is probably the only Jewish playmate to have been posed in front of a Christmas tree. (The title of first Jewish playmate, period, is too contested to touch.)


Favorite.

The house has always been filled with theater and movie people,” Susan says, “and after I decided that acting was really for me, my parents encouraged me at every step.”

Brunette and brown-eyed Sue [was] featured on dozens of puppy-and-little-girl calendars as a youngster.

(Ibid.)


Acceptance in the talent program at the Film Industry Workshop at Columbia Studios followed Sue’s first film role, a small part in a shot-on-location desert flick.

(Ibid.)

I need to gleefully interject that that on-location desert flick was a little number you may have heard of from EVERYWHERE in the world of camp, Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!.

In the Russ Meyer B-movie classic, Ms. Bernard portrays Linda, an innocent girl traveling with her boyfriend who is intercepted, drugged, and kidnapped by Haji, Tura Satana, and Lori Williams as Rosie, Varla, and Billie, respectively. The evil trio of strippers kill her boyfriend Tommy, played by Ray Barlow, and haul Linda along as a hostage on their next fiendish caper.

Not to be missed.

Prior to Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (do you have any idea how much fun that is to type out? so many exclamation points!), Ms. Bernard also appeared on television in 1963 as a young character called Beverly Fairchild in the popular American soap opera General Hospital. She was 15 at the time. In 1969, Ms. Bernard starred in the lesbian-themed film That Tender Touch as Terry Manning. Though the film is very tame by today’s standards, some of the material was very groundbreaking for the time.


Miss December’s private life makes a striking contrast to the image of an in-demand girl running from studio to stage. Even in the busy Bernard household, Susan’s managed to establish a balcony retreat for work on oil portraits of people she likes, among them the dates who take her to her favorite beaches and the cozy restaurants she prefers to gaudier showbiz scenes.

(Ibid.)

I think that resistance to the “scene” in Hollywood really shaped her as an artist and a person with a real brain and will. She has some pretty solidly cemented cult status, and is still an active and a classy lady, though she keeps out from in front of the camera these days.

That shot up there actually came from the next year’s calendar. They stuck her in as March. My guess for this reasoning? The lion next to her on the hearth. You know. “March comes in like a lion, goes out like a lamb.” You think?

Scans of Ms. Bernard’s original layout. All of the at-home b&w shots were taken by her father. It is to his memory that Ms. Bernard currently devotes herself. She has so far produced three books about his body of work and maintains a beautiful site called Susan’s Salon, where you can send her messages and go through pictures her father took in the halcyon days of Bernard of Hollywood.


Being the daughter of one of the most famous photographers in Hollywood, I felt I was the most photographed child in America. With this came the privilege of experiencing Hollywood history. My Salon will bring you the stories my father loved to tell and my cherished memories.

(Susan’s Salon.)

I totally encourage you to check it out. Very cool.

I think all in all this has been a pretty kickass, standout Playmate entry. Especially if you are in to pin-ups, old Hollywood, and B-movies, which it is my expreience that those usually go together. Hope you feel the same!

And, because I can’t help myself, some caps of Sue in Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! Sorry, in my cursory search, I couldn’t find any stills with Tura Satana, and I’m too lazy to dig it up and take screencaptures myself. Enjoy them anyway?



Finally, an absolute trifecta of perfecta, from left to right in the recent shot below: Ms. Bernard; my b’loved Julie Newmar; baby burlesque legend Dita von Teese.


via madhatter on the vintageerotica forums.

Too much amazing for one photo.

Art and The City, or, “Why I have a brain-boner for Jeremy Forson.”

April 7, 2010

Reppin’ SF.


“Red Dress.”

San Francisco-based artist Jeremy Forson’s work has appeared in Proteus Mag, True Eye, Juxtapoz and Spectrum.


“Light Thief.” My topmost favorite in a field of favorites.

The troop number on the scout’s vest is 415, which is a reference to the telephone exchange for San Francisco. The area code for numbers in The City is 415 (probably at this point another has been added, but that’s what I always think of). I dig it.


“Green Shirt.”

The 2005 CCA grad (although then it was still called California College of Arts and Crafts) also does LP covers and skate decks, because he is too cool for school, and I mean that with the most far-sars and sincere admiration. Also he rocks Stand By Me specs like me and all the other inadvertently hep cats! Witness:


Mr. Forson is on the far left.

See? Super-cute. You feelin’ that?


“Lyon.”

You can enjoy more artcrush cyber-stalkytimes by becoming imaginary friendohs with Mr. Forson on the myspace, fanning him on the facebook, reading his profile at Illustration Mundo, subscribing to his blog, or following him on the twitter.


“Perfect Predator.”

He is also on the flickr, and don’t forget to swing by his etsy shop and pick up some prints. The man has got web presence in spades, which is both smart of him and nice for people who want to see more of his awesome shit. A win-win all day.


“Peonies.”

“The general theme of the series captured all things mundane and beautiful and guilty in San Francisco– documenting night life, body art, apathy within crowds, Victorian homes, fashion, trees, and light pollution; all told through Forson’s mastery of color and haunting imagery.”

(“Artist Spotlight: Jeremy Forson.” 15 Sept 2009. Hilario, Raymond. Weekly Comic Book Review.*)


“Pain Investments.”

“I’m here early, but the kind folks at Edo Salon are nice enough to let me in. Thank you for that. This time around, Jeremy Forson, essays on life in San Francisco– elegant, genteel and Victorian for the most part, but sometimes it can be a long hard night. His tattooed tarts appear to basically update the Patrick Nagel idiom. Nice quality work overall.”

(“Edo Salon: Jeremy Forson – The Lost Fight.” 4 Sept 09. Alan Bamberger. ArtBusiness.com.)


“Gatekeeper.”

If I had to reluctantly accept it at all, I’d have to say that the Nagel comment is at best a dramatic oversimplification. So, no. … No, I just plain respectfully disagree. There was much more to that show than “tattooed tarts,” to boot. So it seems like an upbeat review that is nonetheless somewhat misleading. Nagel reference image in case you’re lost:


Let me be absolutely clear: this is a “work” by Patrick Nagel. It is not done by Jeremy Forson. At all. Do not get confused. Stay with me.

But the gentleman in the review was approaching his visit to Edo from an art-business-consulting p.o.v., so perhaps that plays a part? Like, maybe it benefits art-business-consultants to generalize and “pitch” the “look” of an artist because of how galleries and private collection operate? That weird liminal bit of space between salesmanship mixed with snobbery where the business guy admits he has an artistic side, but knows his primary goal is not to criticize art but to move it into people’s hands? It seems so arbitrary and subjective and also frighteningly commercial to me. Whatever. If it made some old school Nagel-loving collector pick up some of Mr. Forson’s work, then I guess no harm. Back to the good stuff.


“SF Mag noir.” A very scarrry cover. San Francisco Magazine.

Of course, Mr. Forson does not focus his talents exclusively on the clever incorporation of physical and cultural references to San Francisco into already kickass portraiture. He also has some relatively un-415 related work as well.


Cover for “Poe,” Boom! Studios.

“This is one of the most unique ideas I’ve seen cross my table” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Mark Waid. “There’s always so much about our classic writers we don’t know, and examining their works and their history can reveal new information, but that’s hardly any fun! POE is alternate history with a horror twist, and is perfect for fans of mysteries.”

(“Enter the World of Poe With Boom! Studios.” 18 May 09. News team. Comic Book Resources.)


“Stargazer.” Unrelated to the Poe information preceding and following it, I just wanted to include it to show Mr. Forson’s range. “Tattoed tarts,” indeed. Pfft.

BOOM!’s new four issue mini-series reveals Poe’s relationship with famous characters and stories from his body of work — like The Raven, the Mask of the Red Death, and many more! Similar to the way SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE showed how William Shakespeare was inspired by his own life events to create some of his creative masterworks, POE takes Edgar Allen Poe on a supernatural adventure that proves to be the fodder for his life’s greatest accomplishments in literature.

(Ibid.)


“Valentine’s teddy bear.”

Dude, that Poe comic sounds all kinds of hella cool. Now I want to get that. Final thought: I. Love. This. The “miwk” part is the part that cracks me up.

Taking Special K up to Humboldt for the next several days, so I’m going to pack, schedule some ghost posts, and be mainly outie. Don’t take any wooden nickels and I’ll catch you on the flip!





*I kind of ♥ the WCBR forever. Swar to gar. Smart, genuinely heartfelt reviews. I rely on them a lot when I have spare cash burning a hole in my pocket and it’s a Wednesday (comics day).

Unbelievably photorealistic art by painter Diego Gravinese

March 30, 2010


“Cometa.”

Check that mad rad shit out. Nope, it is not a photoshopped photograph, nor a digitally altered picture of a painting, or any other chicanery like that. Amazingly enough in this day and age, Argentinian artist Diego Gravinese uses oil paints and no fancy computer tricks to create these images.


“Coloso.”

Diego Gravinese was born in La Plata, Argentina in 1971. His work has been shown internationally over the past 15 years in New York, Paris, Madrid, Turin, Buenos Aires, Chicago, and Los Angeles. He worked with Ruth Benzacar and ZavaletaLab galleries in Buenos Aires and with DeChiara gallery in New York. He currently lives and works in Buenos Aires.

(bio via flavorpill.)


“My Favorite Thoughts.”

[Gravinese] sometimes goes by the name Nekomomix. His work explores the juxtaposition of vibrant and photo realistic figurative imagery with a variety of pop elements: these might include cartoons, book illustrations, maps and a plethora of other images borrowed from both personal and public realms.

(review via paintalicious, which I see is undergoing web maintenance today but should be up and running again soon. awesome site.)


“The Offering.” My favorite.

These elements sometimes cross over in subtle ways, thus bridging the gap between figurative and cultural elements of the paintings. Gravinese’s use of light and color gives the paintings an atmospheric quality, in a style both painterly and so refined.

(Ibid.)


“El elastico.”

His official site is under construction still, but you can visit his galleries of work on the flickr, which is from where I collected this small smattering of his art. There is tons more, and it’s all awesome.


Mr. Gravinese posing with some of his work. I know, right? I actually saved this picture as “omg,” all gushy like a twelve year old.

Oh, and P.S.? He is totally handsome and funny. Give him a spin, I’m serious.

Diego Gravinese is one of the best photorealistic painters in the world. He’s not just technically gifted, but his images are like freeze-frames from the TiVos of our lives — a quick hit of the pause button to capture a passing moment just as it was, forever. But taken out of context, there are endless stories to tell about each. … If Charlie Kaufman were a painter, he’d be Diego Gravenese [sic].

(review via yuppiepunk.org, right here on the wordpress.)


“The Method.” Look closely at the picture. It’s a picture of a painting of him painting a picture. AMAZING.

There has been much debate over the years on whether the replication of photographs in paint can actually be considered art or just an example of exceptional technical skill. Where do you sit on that topic? For me when I look at painting such as these by Argentinian painter Diego Gravinese I actually think they’re pretty damn amazing, but then again so are the photographs that he references for his work. Is the art in the idea, the execution or both? I don’t know, you either like it or you don’t, you decide.

(“Extraordinary photorealism of the ordinary by Diego Gravinese.” Lucas, Luke. April 11, 2009. Lifelounge.com)

For me, I like them. A lot. You can also follow Mr. Gravinese on the twitter. Super-cool!

Daily Batman: Gotham Girls

September 20, 2009

(l to r: Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and Batgirl. Not pictured: Zatanna, Harley Quinn, and Det. Renee Montoya.)

Brought to you by totally amazing artist Esao Andrews.