Friday, November 30, 2012

The Ben Soleway Portraits

Now, I will devote this blog to showcasing the art that appears in movies. But on occasion, like today, I might share an artist whose work is linked to Hollywood. These artists, while not creating art for movies, created art that preserved the era of the movies.
Granted, I'm rarely going to mention these guys, but some of their work is interesting, and if you are interested in movies/art, you might find something in their work.

For instance, one of my favorite artists is a Philadelphia artist by the name of Ben Solowey. He was from an immigrant family and he rose to fame in the '30s and '40s. His work was never truly avant-garde but it is very well done. He is of note because during his prime, he was making these beautiful theater charcoal portraits. He was commissioned by the papers to record pictures for their reviews of plays. They were done quickly and very neatly and he was very popular among the stars because of the quality of his work. Here's a couple and I think you'll recognize the faces. He created hundreds of these, usually during the rehearsals of Broadway shows they were in and the likenesses are almost photographic.

He also painted one of my favorite portraits of all time. It's of his beloved wife, Rae, who would act as his muse for decades. The portrait is currently at the Michener Museum and is simply lovely. I find Rae to be one of the most lovely, sophisticated women ever to sit for a portrait in the last century. While, this painting has nothing whatsoever to do with art, it is a marvel.

Don't worry, my next post will be a little more on topic, but I thought you might enjoy the pictures of these lovely ladies.
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