Thursday, October 13, 2011

Frazetta's La Of Opar

Just before the big Frazetta Halloween show in 1994 being held at the ALEXANDER GALLERY on Madison Avenue in NYC, Alex Acevedo (the owner) was buying a lot of Frazetta originals. Frank was in a selling mood because he was trying to pay off his newly purchased home in Boca Grande, Florida. This was going to be the new home of the Frazetta Museum.

Alex was quite interested in buying the Tarzan meets LA of Opar watercolor. Frank would not sell it because of the pornographic nature of the piece. Tarzan was shown with a huge erection. This made the piece. One of the slave girls was looking down at the erection with obvious lust in her eyes. The Queen was lifting herself off the throne and thrusting her pubic area toward Tarzan. Great Frazetta ribald humor! A masterpiece. Frank put a lot of work into the details.

Alex wanted it. Frank said that he would have to remove the penis. Alex agreed. I was thoroughly despondent sitting there watching this scenario play out before my eyes. "My God, Frank, you can't take out that penis. It will ruin the piece." I said it calmly and quietly while Alex was looking at other potential acquisitions. Frank simply said: "I can draw another one." I've heard this before and it never happened. Alex was willing to pay 45K for the piece.

Frank got out his gouache bottles and a little water. In a few minutes he had scraped off the penis and flawlessly filled-in the open area. He matched every tone perfectly. It was an amazing thing to see. It is impossible to see that anything different was there before.

Alex bought it, framed it, and put it up for sale. He brought it to the SanDiego Con. Alex always had an incredible display of first-tier originals. I ended up trading him a color Robert Crumb cover from the 60's for it. I kept it for several years, then traded it back to Frank. I was always bothered by the composition missing that central energizing element. It was the whole reason for the idea in the first place. In typical fashion, and this fact would be an ongoing source of frustration with me, Frank did not take any pictures of the piece in its original state. What a loss! What a travesty! I had hopes that he would place the original back to its former state. He did not. Ellie sold it.

It still remains a magnificent work of art.

(c)2010 DocDave Winiewicz

25 comments:

  1. Any chance of seeing the original? There are a few of us artists out here who'd like to see the original intent and are worried less about the morality than the artwork...

    Thanks!

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  2. Sadly, Frank never made a photograph of the original. It is lost to history. Very annoying, indeed.

    DAVE

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  3. If the internet has not provided a decent photoshopped imagining of the original in about three days, you can assume the world has ended.

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  4. I have wondered for years what was up with that piece. I always felt that I was missing something. Now it all makes sense. A pity there isn't a record of the original.

    Still, a great story, Dave. Thank you for posting it!

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  5. Thanks for posting this story, DocDave! I have been an admirer of Frazetta for over 25 years and it's to great find out more about him!

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  6. @DocDave, The Penis in question may have been lost to history, but it is now firmly entrenched in Legend.

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  7. Yes, only the boner made this piece erotic. LOLwut?

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  8. Didn't think Frank was that skittish about it, oh well, some people have their reasons.

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  9. Frank never had a problem of any sort with pornography, be it soft or hardcore. It was Ellie who was the roadblock.

    Pity.

    DAVE

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  10. Thanks Dave, I really enjoyed the story!

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  11. I blame Alex, what a fool. Ironic Frank ruined so many paintings by putting tits and dicks on them.

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  12. Bear in mind that during this period Alex had a bad case of "Frazetta Fever". He wanted what he wanted and his cash did a lot of talking.

    Frank SHOULD have refused.

    DAVE

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  13. Seems if you hold the piece up to the light, or x-ray it you could still see the original portion.

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  14. Nope, couldn't see a thing.

    DAVE

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  15. The girl's focus is centered quite a ways out there.

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  16. Yup, that that was the focus point. Tarzan was well-endowed!

    DAVE

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  17. Dave...I thought I was going crazy...a guy on another blog claimed that ONLY William Stout had seen the original version. I could have sworn that not only did you tell me about it but showed me a photo as well....lol...what a world. I got to get out and see you one of these days old chum.

    Tom Neal

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  18. Hi Tom! Good to hear from you. Many people saw the La Of Opar with the erection. I saw it,... so did Stout, Russ, Bruce Hamilton, Geppi, Al, Angelo, Nick, Ken Kelly, Alex Acevedo, Mannarino, on and on. I never had a photo of it. I did show you a photo of that other sketch page that had porno versions of Frank, Tarzan and Jane, and Prince Valiant.

    There is a LOT of dubious info about Frank being circulated these days. People send me all the stuff from other sites. I love for everyone to tell their stories, but at least be accurate. I fear it will be a while before all the hostilities in the Frazetta world settle down.

    Your welcome to visit anytime Tom!

    All the best!

    DAVE

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  19. I remember seeing this piece as a pen and ink drawing, with Tarzan (sans hard-on) being held by two beast men... am I just dreaming or is there another version of this?

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  20. Must be a completely different original.

    Dave

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  21. Wow, she would not have lived if Frazetta hadn't removed Tarzan's package. She lucked out!

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  22. I just noticed, actually, that Frazetta's removal of the penis wasn't flawless. There's a slight discoloration where he removed the old area, and you can see where the two ends meet. Eventually I'll get to highlighting it for easier viewing.

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