Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Remember Nagels?

Most of us who remember the 80's know the works of Patrick Nagel.

I remember the first time I saw a Nagel....The modern colors and sharp lines were striking, but it was the powerful woman in the painting that struck me the most!

"Sunglasses" by Patrick Nagel
In fact, it was the first time I ever remember responding to printed art, (as a preteen, until then my definition of art was the black light poster in my room and my poster of Michael Jackson's Thriller).

The women portrayed in Nagel's art were glamorous, confident, sexy, and independent....ALL of the things I wanted to be someday!

I haven't thought much about Nagel since the 80's and assumed his time had come and gone. Recently I was searching for something on ebay and a few Nagels popped up... "Oh yeah Nagels," I thought, and it made me smile like when you remember a really great party. I honestly didn't know he'd passed away at the age of 38 in 1984. No wonder his work faded from the limelight. He hadn't created anything since the Reagan era.

Although there have always been fans of his work, now that it has been 30 years since his passing, the art of Patrick Nagel is considered retro/vintage, and making it's way back.

After looking around online I found out that in his lifetime he created over 400 prints and illustrations and 21 limited editions, (39 more were published after his death). One of his most famous works was not a painting but an album cover of Duran Duran's 1981 album, "Rio"....

If you're feeling nostalgic and are thinking of purchasing a Nagel, do some research! There's a ton of easy to find info out there. As with all artist's work, there is a big difference between the value of an original, a serigraph, and a poster print.  Also, there are apparently a lot of fake Nagels out there, referred to by experts as "fakels."...Make sure it's an authorized reseller of Nagel's work or if the item is on ebay and it's part of a limited edition that the authentic documentation is included.

For me, the decision is made, I am going to get a couple of Nagel serigraphs for my home gym...that is, someday when I actually have a home gym.
"Blonde in Sunglasses" by Patrick Nagel
The Pop Art of Patrick Nagel needs little introduction. His minimalist style defined an era with cool, seductive women that became the most iconic of any single generation. His elegant graphic work and his portrayal of the contemporary woman made figurative design before him look instantly old. Today his unique sensibility and style continue to resonate with generations of young designers, illustrators and artists who have found inspiration from his trend-setting style.
After returning from his tour in Vietnam, Patrick studied fine art at Chouinard Art Institute and California State University, Fullerton where he received his BA in 1969. He then taught at Art Center College of Design while simultaneously establishing himself as a free-lance designer and illustrator with memorable ads for Ballantine Scotch, and covers for Harper’s magazine.
In the mid-70’s he began illustrating stories for Playboy magazine, bringing instant exposure and a large appreciative audience to his work. His years working with Playboy established him as the heir apparent to 50’s pin-up artist Alberto Vargas and gave Nagel the subject matter that he would continue to use to illustrate the newly liberated woman.  - The above is an except from PatrickNagel.com

 Looking at these album covers I can hear the verse to the song "Rio" in my head, like it was yesterday..

Duran Duran "Rio" album cover 1981

Remastered "Rio" which was released in 2001
using the alternate album cover offered for the first one.

Photos from bingimages.com

More about Patrick Nagel and his art...




YouTube Mix below, tribute DURAN DURAN (This one is just for FUN)!


Patrick Nagel in his studio, early 1980's

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