Sunday, April 03, 2011
THE BED & THE BACHELOR
Please leave your comments!
These images are the front and stepback covers to Tracy Anne Warren's, The Bed & The Bachelor, Avon Books. I'm quite happy about the way they came out and it was a fortuitous combination of ideas and people at the right time, that made it possible. For a long time I've been playing with the idea of these romance illustrations being about something more than just a blatantly sexual way of selling books. Instead, I've been thinking about the deeper feeling we have in love and romance, feelings that can suddenly become the most important things in the world. That moment, where everything disappears but the object of your passion, is what I'm trying to get across.
I helps so much when you have an art director, like Tom Egner at Avon, who understands art and design and just as importantly, knows when to leave an image alone. That willingness to stand up to the forces of committee blandness is partly responsible for the existence of this image. And so are the models, Suzanne Fogarty and Anthony ...., Who put real emotion into their acting. Shirley Green, my friend and photographer and her assistant, Philippa Clayton, all were part of creating these covers.
As I was working on these, I began to have strange flashes of the famous painting by Delacroix of the Storming of the Bastile, during the French Revolution, in which a bare-breasted woman carrying the tri-color banner over the top of the melee, amidst smoke and mayhem. So I guess there's a feeling of heroism in the face of danger, or maybe it's more like the couple is saying, " This is all that matters!"...
here's a picture of that painting:
Is heroism sexy? Well, in her case it is. Can sexiness be heroic? It's interesting how, after the fact, revolutions seem heroic, but at the time, they are nasty, vicious and brutal. There are heroes, people who did the right thing in an important way, or who went all-out for the common good, disregarding their own safety. But only the winning side gets to celebrate them. This painting, done years after the revolution, looks a lot like pictures that came out of Cairo recently. On their faces is power, excitement and something that says, "This is all that matters!"