Frank Frazetta's Self Portrait
The early sixties were a major transition period in Frazetta's career. After Frazetta left his long-time position as a ghost artist for Al Capp in early 1961, he searched for a new full-time opportunity. At this time in his life, he was supporting his wife and two sons, so he needed a job fairly quickly. Especially since he left Capp's due to a falling out over Capp refusing to increase his weekly salary. Even in this difficult time, the Frazettas were resilient. With his portfolio in hand, Frazetta went searching but no one would hire him. The art directors looked at his work and told him his style was outdated. Frazetta knew that wasn't true so he figured Capp had blacklisted him from the industry.
In early 1962, at the height of his frustration from rejection, Frazetta painted his Self Portrait. On his way home he ripped apart a random fence with his bare hands. Once he let off some steam, he returned home and painted his self portrait in just a few hours. Frazetta's wife, Ellie recalled that day, “He walked into the apartment, kissed me and immediately went into his small studio. A few hours later, the painting was finished.” Ellie continued. “Look closely at that painting, look at the mouth. You can see a slight smirk of self confidence as if Frank is saying to the world I don’t care what you think. I’m going to make it anyways.” Ellie was right, soon after, Frazetta's luck began to change.
Frazetta's Self Portrait is one of the highest regarded paintings in his entire collection. It's unique in style, blending in a bit of abstract expressionism. The brushstrokes are explosive and indicative of his emotions. His piercing eyes and furrowing brows further cement the transfer of his anger and frustration onto the canvas. Frazetta's Self Portrait breathes, Frazetta lives on through it!
So looking forward to seeing this painting in person this spring.
Please put me on your mailing list for the upcoming Frazetta Museum to open soon down in Florida. So excited for you. And if you have any promotional items. please think of me. Also would love to get a 2022 Frazetta Calendar.
My address is:
1054 Deborah Drive
McKinleyville, CA 95519
With much love, an ardent fan of your Father’s work for 40 years and fellow artist as well, and one who always longed to be a model for your Dad,
With much admiration and ardor,
I love the look of determination and defiance in his face.
I met one of his daughters and a granddaughter at a Comicon in Richmond — I don’t remember the names. But I appreciate the efforts of all of you to preserve his legacy.