I don’t post links to eBay items frequently, but I can’t resist pointing out this huge, stunning Fifties silkscreen mural by Boris Gorelick (1912-1984), who painted backgrounds at UPA, Warner Bros. and Format Films. Gorelick’s animation work consists exclusively of paintings based on the layouts of other artists, so it is a pleasant surprise to discover that he was such a facile draftsman and that he drew characters so beautifully. The design is busy but never cluttered, and his use of color is bold and imaginative. With so many contemporary artists creating mediocre gallery paintings using a “cartoon modern” style, it’s easy to forget how exciting and interesting a stylized cartoon painting can be. Gorelick had it down.
I’ve written about Gorelick before on the Cartoon Modern blog. He had a fascinating history. Born in Russia, his parents emigrated to the US when he was an infant. He was politically active throughout the 1930s, and hung out with artists like Arshile Gorky, Max Weber and Ben Shahn. In 1935, while creating art for the W.P.A., he made a lithograph of a circus scene that is much darker than the Fifties version, and shows his vastly different approach to drawing in his pre-animation years.