Sunday, February 16, 2014

Moving Pictures: All "TIME" Classic Stars Portraits

For this Sunday, I thought I'd do a nice little post about portraiture. Midterms are coming up, so it is difficult to handle much more than that. My inspiration today was, of all thing, TIME magazine. Over the years, appearances on TIME's covers have become synonymous with fame. You know you've made it, if you have made it on TIME.
Ginger Rogers
August 10, 1939
by Peter Stackpole

Deborah Kerr
February 10, 1947
by Boris Chaliapin 
From a historical view, it is interesting to see what public figures have graced the covers when. It really speaks to the important matters of the day. And public figures, of course, include the stars. So from a cinematic-historic perspective, it is interesting to see when certain stars had reached such heights of fame that a newsmagazine considers their stardom newsworthy.
Elizabeth Taylor
August 22, 1949
by Boris Chaliapin 

Rita Hayworth
November 10, 1941
by George Petty
While I love TIME magazine today, I can't help but miss the classic covers of the 30's, 40's, and part of the 50's. The iconic red border, offset by the white center. I think it is such an iconic look. In many cases, especially in feature stories about people, TIME engaged portrait artists to paint the cover of the magazine. Which is really, rather fabulous if you think about. It is the definition of accessible art, and I really do think that these covers are art. And when I say that, I mean it. I even have a few hanging up in my room!
Lucille Ball
May 26, 1952
by John Engstead
TIME has been published since 1923 and it has always been noticed for its considerable coverage of individuals. After all, individuals do shape history. TIME's coverage of individuals has included the coverage of both political figures and celebrities. Obviously, their cover of celebrities during the "Golden Age" of Hollywood makes this post possible.  While it was criticized early on for this "light" coverage, obviously its success speaks of the viability of their concept. Their covers have almost been around as much as the magazine and are just as successful.
Katharine Hepburn
September 1, 1952
by Boris Chaliapin 

Rosalind Russell
March 30, 1953
by Boris Chaliapin 
While TIME's cover art varied (some are photographs, some are paintings) most are paintings by one artist in particular, Boris Chaliapin, whose career was basically the creation of these covers. He obviously had a remarkable ability to recreate likeness and his pieces are truly works of art. My favorites, at least of this crowd, have to be Deborah Kerr and Grace Kelly. Part of the reason is because I love Deborah Kerr and Grace Kelly. But, more than that, I feel like Chaliapin did a remarkable job of showing their likeness, their spirit, and more importantly, the public perception that people wanted to see. For instance, Grace is the gorgeously perfect American star. With the sun reflecting on her hair, doesn't she seem to be an angel looking happily down on us? Deborah Kerr is no less beautiful, but she is perceived (and painted) as the gentle, genteel lady. Interestingly enough, in the early 40s, when that cover was released, that was Kerr's Hollywood image; it was the image that Americans recognized because studio heads in America were giving her all the "lady" roles. Later, she would get some more interesting roles to sink her teeth in (like From Here to Eternity), but that was not even considered at the time, and thus her cover does not reflect the easygoing beauty that she is now associated with.
Audrey Hepburn
September 7, 1953
by Boris Chaliapin 
Grace Kelly
January 31, 1955
by Boris Chaliapin 

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