Friday, June 02, 2017

Arty Farty Friday ~ Illustrating Generations: Coby Whitmore & Jeff Soto.

It's interesting to compare and contrast the work of two artist/illustrators from different generations and note how they reflect the tenor of their times. Both artists had Sun in Gemini, one born on 11 June 1913, the other on 3 June 1975. Their artwork has little in common other than an obvious innate talent, but it does reflect back the "flavour" of the times in which their talent became known, and acclaimed by many. Also in common: these artists' work has been mainly for ordinary people to enjoy, rather than to impress a coterie of elite art snobs.

Born 11 June 1913: Maxwell "Coby" Whitmore.
Born 3 June 1975: Jeff Soto.

Natal charts are added, for reference only, at the end of this post.

Coby Whitmore, Painter and magazine illustrator known for his Saturday Evening Post covers, and a commercial artist whose work included advertisements for Gallo Wine and other national brands. He additionally became known as a race-car designer. He was born on the cusp of the first World War, matured at the dawn of another World War, his work relates mainly to the years immediately following the end of that second world conflagration. It shines with hope and expectation, coloured by The American Dream.

He was one of the top magazine illustrators in the 1940s and 1950s, who "monopolized the ladies' magazines like McCall's, Ladies Home Journal, and Good Housekeeping with postwar images of the ideal white American family centered around pretty, middle-class, female consumers living happily in new kitchens, new houses, driving new cars, living with handsome husbands, adorable children, and cute dogs".

Racing cars, illustrating, and smart clothes on good-looking women,” Whitmore said these were his three primary interests. While Whitmore the racer was simply indulging in a hobby, Whitmore the artist was a fastidious professional who, writes Reed, was “so inventive over so long a time in doing variations on the theme of ‘boy meets girl.’

Whitmore was inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 1978.
See Saturday Evening Post HERE.

See House of Retro for some good-sized illustrations of Whitmore's work - I'll borrow just one:

Or this video shows a good selection of his illustrations:

Some of his illustrations remind me of Norman Rockwell's style (same broad era), others are not a million miles away from 1940s and 50s pin-up art, though subjects are better clothed, less intentionally titillating. Whitmore must have had quite an eye for fashion, as well as the skill to depict it correctly.

Coby Whitmore died in October 1988.

Jeff Soto, born shortly after the end of the Vietnam War, matured as the end of the 20th century approached.
His distinct color palette, subject matter and technique have been said to bridge the gap between Pop Surrealism and Street Art.

Early on, horror, science fiction, and fantasy movies and television were another influence, in particular Star Wars, Robotech, and Mtv. In college, Soto discovered and was inspired by artists such as Max Ernst, Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, Amedio Modigliani, Van Gogh and Paul Cadmus.

Soto lives and works in California with his wife and two daughters.

The artist's own website.

Some good-sized images of his work can be seen at The Dancing Rest

A sample:

 The Corruption of Mankind

Re the above painting, and taken from an interview in 2009 HERE:
Soto: I painted it during the big stock market crash in October. I was thinking about the greed of corporate America, and how it’s easy to blame them, but the people in our country are just as much to blame. The big houses, SUV’s, designer purses, all these expensive status symbols that regular people cannot afford, are also one of the factors that brought our economy down. I jokingly blame Mtv shows from ten years ago- Pimp My Ride, Cribs, and all these reality shows made my generation and younger think it normal to live like the rich. People tried that and overextended themselves which is one of the reasons we’re in this mess. What ever happened to being smart with your money? That’s one of the things I was exploring with that piece.

Here's the artist describing one facet of his work: prints on wood.

and more:

These charts are set for 12 noon as birth times are unknown. I'm not inclined to attempt interpretation, but leave them here for any passing astrology fan to ponder upon. Larger versions will emerge by clicking on the images.

By the way - look again at the photographs of the artists in the post above - I see a likeness!

Coby Whitmore born 11 June 1913 in Dayton Ohio.

Jeff Soto born 3 June 1975 in Fullerton, California.


Wisewebwoman said...

Interesting read T. The American Dream in all its rapaciousness and hypnotic fascination. Great post.


Twilight said...

Wisewebwoman ~ Thanks WWW. I liked the contrast in their styles; both artists reflect their times so clearly. :-)