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