Local artist and cartoonist David Hagen has undertaken the delicate and time-consuming process of "Hagenizing" a newly-revealed cache of vintage paintings from Northern New Jersey. The paintings were done from the late 1950s through the early 1970s by the mysterious Grandma Rose's. Largely a collection of landscapes, with a few still lifes known, the paintings by themselves capture the hallucinatory reality of the world made famous in Bruce Springsteen songs.
"I was pleased to be able to rescue these oddly-moving paintings from a house that was about to be demolished, and to place them with such a distinguished and groundbreaking modern artist to be safely and proudly Hagenized," said ComicsDC publisher Mike Rhode.
After a careful study of the work, Hagen applies his own particular brand of restoration to each painting, resulting in a new and improved masterwork. With about 50 paintings to work through, Hagen anticipates his production to be slow, but just in time for the holiday shopping season. The first painting, seen here in before and after versions, debuts tomorrow at the Civitan Flea Market in Arlington, VA.
Keep following this breaking story as there's more to come.
DISCLAIMER: ComicsDC's Mike Rhode provided the paintings to Hagen for free, and is not making any money from his reuse of them (but is enjoying it).
However, I commissioned this piece, so I will be leaving with it. If I'm not at Baltimore Comic-Con... in which case, you might be able to make him an offer. David notes that he will have "Plenty of Krakkens to entertain the kiddies."
Saturday, February 9, 2013, 7:30pm - 10:00pm at 5710 Baltimore Ave. Hyattsville, MD 20781
Artists included in this show will either show an original from their own collection in their own style or imitate another artist's style... or maybe both! The viewers exploring the works in the show will embark on a treasure hunt as they try to determine if a piece was done by the original artist or someone else. If the piece is a copy — then who did the copy?
Cartoonists at Artomatic photos in my Flickr account. Exhibitors include David Hagen, Ben Claassen, Michael Auger (not pictured), Annie Lunsford, Karon Flage (photos by the former Small Press Expo/SPX head), illustrator Bono Mitchell and collagist Grace Yost. Bon vivant editorial cartoonist Steve Artley is in the pictures too. Hagen, ARtley, Auger, Lunsford and Mitchell all contributed to the Team Cul de Sac anthology which goes on sale tomorrow.
David Hagen. I'm now wondering how to get the drywall off the pillar.
And here's two shots of Russ Kick from his Graphic Canon booksigning at Big Planet Comics Bethesda:
Richard Thompson's friend David Hagen has painted his Team Cul de Sac contribution and put the image up on his blog. I'll be bidding on this at the auction, although I already have a Hagen hanging in my house. David also did the original ComicsDC logo out of the blue, and the goodness of his heart.
David Hagen reports that he's sold 3 paintings before the 2nd day of the show even ends. I've got mine. Better buy yours now!
Supes, David Hagen, 2009
Amusingly, I was wearing my ComicsDC t-shirt (buy yours now) last week at Vienna's Viva Vienna street fair and a lady at a booth called out to me, "Hey, are you David Hagen?" Sadly, I wasn't but she does anime voiceovers and her husband is working on a comic so they'll appear here at some point hopefully.
David Hagen's taken some scans of panels that stand alone of Herriman's best creation and made Zazzle products including t-shirts, mugs and postcards. In panels from 2 Sunday strips, you can appeal to a crossword puzzle addict, a gourmand, a lover or a caffeine addict.
Earlier this week, I picked up my painting from David Hagen's successful show, where he sold 3/4 of the art he had up. David will be selling more of his art at Art-O-Matic later this month.
Supes, David Hagen, 2009
Of which, he explained, "I used acrylic paint. Black outlines are painted with acrylic paint pens or with brushes. About three coats of paint to get the even solid color look. Then a gloss spray varnish to protect the painting."
This was the only one he did of this type of subject, but you can see more of his work on his blog and Zazzle site. He's painting a lot of baseball players lately.
The wife and I are in negotiations over where to hang it.
David Hagen's Gallery at Zazzle went live yesterday, and you can buy t-shirts by the man who devised the ComicsDC logo spontaneously, out of the goodness of his heart, without knowing me from Adam. Personally I'm getting the Drop Everything and Read shirt. The whole family might be getting it.
I went last night and met David and his family including his wife and inlaws who were all from England and fun to talk with. The exhibit is in 2 rooms of a real-estate firm, but that works surprisingly well. There's a variety of works including paintings of robots, odd animals and baseball players from a 1966 card set as well as some prints. I bought a cartoony portrait of S*p*rm*n. Go check it out!
...and you can too! The show will be from the beginning of March through the end of April with a reception on Friday, March 27 from 6pm to 9pm. All invited. Refreshments served! Century21 gallery space, 1711 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22209.
I'll be there tomorrow, fairly close to 6. And I hear a cartoonist known as RT will be making an appearance.