Let Us Entertain You: America's Never-Ending Love Affair with Pop Culture Icons, Coupled with Waves of Nostalgia, Is Revitalizing the Entertainment Art Market

By Meyers, Laura | Art Business News, April 2004 | Go to article overview

Let Us Entertain You: America's Never-Ending Love Affair with Pop Culture Icons, Coupled with Waves of Nostalgia, Is Revitalizing the Entertainment Art Market


Meyers, Laura, Art Business News


Hooray for Hollywood! Generations of movie stars, music legends and beloved characters are forever etched in our collective memory--and in an expanding array of artworks that document and recreate these iconic images of our times.

Today, gallery owners and art publishers alike are taking a fresh approach to entertainment art, starting with redefining it, broadly speaking, as artwork based on Hollywood's film, music and entertainment industries. "The moniker includes pop culture, music, Broadway, sports, celebrity of all sorts," explained Jim Lentz, chief operating officer of American Royal Arts in Boca Raton, Fla. Vintage and contemporary animation, film and concert posters, new interpretative portrayals of cartoon characters, celebrity portraits and art made by celebrities are all part of the evolving marketplace for entertainment art.

These days, along with tried-and-true animation and movie posters, collectors are also looking for original concept drawings and storyboards, paintings and drawings by such pop legends as rock diva Grace Slick and new renderings of well-known cartoon and comics characters created by top-drawer contemporary artists. In part, this is a result of an effort by Lentz and other publishers to evolve. "Animation eels were the media darling for l0 to 12 years," said Lentz. "We're trying to cultivate that audience for a broader marketplace."

Indeed, for a good part of the 1990s, animation was a bright light in the art market, but then, observed veteran gallerist Heidi Leigh, owner of Animazing Gallery in New York, "the marketplace was saturated, particularly with those who treated it as merchandise and not art, and the animation industry simply collapsed. After the dust settled and many smaller galleries went out of business, the few of us who are still standing have shifted focus a little bit and found our niches."

A New World

In Leigh's case, that has meant introducing original pop art, such as Tom Everhart's "Snoopy" images, into her gallery, Linda Jones has concentrated on famed animator Chuck Jones' original drawings. Debbie Weiss, owner of Wonderful World of Animation Gallery in Beverly Hills, Calif., has found success with vintage storyboards and master backgrounds. "I wish I had more concept art--I could sell it all," she said. Entertainment Galleries, the retail arm of $2 Art Group, has expanded its offerings of reissued movie posters to include pop artist Everhart as well as celebrity-oriented artworks by the likes of disco singer/songwriter Donna Summer and illustrator/caricaturist Al Hirshfeld.

Indeed, celebrity sells--in part because the media promotes celebrity. Former Jefferson Airplane band member Grace Slick, for example now focuses on a visual art career, painting likenesses of her friends and fellow musicians, such as Sting, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Jerry Garcia. In February, an opening reception for her new series of portrayals of characters from Alice in Wonderland, "Wonderland Suite," at the Art One Gallery in Los Angeles was covered by most of the local television stations.

Slick's works have also been successfully exhibited at the Fingerhut Galleries. "I was very skeptical at first," admitted Frederick Warhanek, executive director of Fingerhut Gallery of Sausalito, Calif. "But Grace Stick's work is charming. For our first show [three years ago], we had 1,100 to 1,200 people show up--and our gallery comfortably holds about 150.... It was a phenomenal opening, in terms of business. We sold a lot of work."

More Top Trends

At the same time, entertainment art devotees are reaching out for classic retro imagery. For example, Clampett Studio Collections in Hollywood, Calif., a successor organization to the now-shuttered Warner Bros. fine-art enterprises, has experienced great success with a new limited-edition series based on vintage Warner Bros. lobby cards. The original placards promoted Merrie Melodies and Looney Toons cartoons in movie theater lobbies from the 1930s through the 1960s. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Let Us Entertain You: America's Never-Ending Love Affair with Pop Culture Icons, Coupled with Waves of Nostalgia, Is Revitalizing the Entertainment Art Market
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.