Article first published as Conan the Destroyer Painting Goes for $1.5 Million on Technorati.
The 1971 painting by fantasy artist Frank Frazetta sold just two months after the Pennsylvania artist’s death. Frank Frazetta was a favorite artist of my youth for his fantastical depictions of mostly nude women, such as Vampirella and his mostly nude men such as Conan. There were a number of paintings of nudes. As time went by I came to appreciated more than the artful rendering of the human form and found that I liked his animals and skies and weapons as well. He was also a bit of an inspiration, here was someone making a living by bringing dreams to life.
His wonderfully out of place Molly Hatchet album covers were a lot of fun as well. Flirting with Disaster is a country rock album with a musclebound Thor striding forward with a look of grim determination on his face.
He also did a number of movie posters, including Clint Eastwood’s The Gauntlet and the original Yours, Mine, and Ours. He started out doing a lot of characterture work, one of his more famous images being one of Ringo Starr he did for Mad Magazine. His first few commercial works were more cartoonish and less epic and heroic.
The $1.5 million dollar sell of Conan the Destroy is reputedly the highest price paid for work done by Frank Frazetta. Once an artist dies their works are usually more valuable. Paintings and sketches by Frank Frazetta will likely start showing up in more auctions as people try cash in. A recent auction saw Frank Frazetta’s artwork from Weird Science Fantasy #29, from 1955, sell for $380,000.
To be honest I have always been more of a Boris Vallejo fan, but Frank Frazetta was always a close second. Frank Frazetta’s work was always interesting and had a style all it’s own. One of his last paintings was for a one sheet of From Dusk till Dawn and features a woman with a snake around her shoulders. I’m not surprised that Quentin Tarantino was a fan of Frank Frazetta, but I am a bit surprised he didn’t like the painting enough to use it.
In 2003, a feature film documenting the life and career of Frazetta was released entitled, Frazetta: Painting With Fire.