Starting this weekend, 8/9/2014, Creature Features in Burbank has opened a Group Art show commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Studios amphibious monster classic, “Creature from the Black Lagoon”. As with previous art shows, Creature Features has lined the walls with a staggering array of “Creature'” themed art. Once again, I was racking my brain, trying to come up with a unique take on the subject matter. I had originally planned to go the parody route and do my own version of the Harvey Kurtzman cover art to “MAD” magazine issue #1. The couple recoiling in horror against the wall would be caricatures of “Creature” stars, Richard Carlson and Julie Adams. Eventually, I became just as bored with the idea as you are now having just read that description.
Then, I started playing with the film’s title, trying to come up with some sort of play on words. I was messing around with things like “Black SALOON” or “Black Baloon” when I tripped over “Black TIE Lagoon”. That little insert hung with me. In the film, the Creature and the Beauty do a sort of dance when she decides to take a nice refreshing dip in the Lagoon, unaware of the titular Monster lurking in the water below. Why couldn’t they then formally dance? The idea of the Creature in a tail coat immediately suggested the work of classic Illustrator, J.C. Leyendecker. In particular, an “Arrow Collar” ad he illustrated formed the basis of my entry.
With the reference set, the painting came together quickly. I do think this might be one of the better pieces I have done.
Thanks for Looking!!