Friday, July 5, 2013

Meeting David Weidman, Mid-Century Artist

I have vivid memories of watching Fractured Fairy Tales, the cartoons that ran between episodes of The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show.  I can recall the narrator's voice well but really remember the distinctive art style and more sophisticated humor of these cartoons. 

A couple of months ago I had the opportunity to meet David Weidman, a celebrated Mid-Century artist.  David is perhaps best known for his work in animation, most notably Fractured Fairy Tales and Mr. Magoo.  His work is often described as whimsical and reflects a now iconic and timeless style.  Check out Mad Men to see some of his work!

Inretrospect, on famed "Retro Row" in Long Beach, has quite a large cache of David's work for sale and hosted an event showcasing pieces from the Weidman family archives. 
David began screen-printing his work based on the suggestion by his wife, Dorothy, and the rest is history.  All of the original screens used to produce his prints have been destroyed so there is a definite limited supply of his work remaining.  You can see some of them on his website.

I had acquired one of his "Grey Owl" prints at an estate sale.  I took it to the appearance and asked him to tell me about it.  He briefly looked at it and then inspected the way it was framed.  I was ready to defend myself and say I had bought it that way when he told me he had personally framed the print himself in his workshop.  What a memory he has at 92!  The print is not numbered and he told me it was a very early print from before his family had him start numbering his work.  I loved the print when I bought it, but getting the chance to speak with him about it makes me cherish it even more.  I had him sign the back of it and told him it would be hanging in my daughter's room.

It was an amazing experience and one I will not forget!

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