THURSDAY, MAY 26, 2011
After a marathon two-day session of scanning, we've imaged two of the original pieces of artwork given to us by Chrysler Corporation artist Larry Baranovic, who died last year at the age of 90. The first is an illustration used in the 1957 sales catalog for the Chrysler 300C -- the green tailfinned rocketship shown below. The second, the white Chrysler farther down, is the painting that was used in the carmaker's 1955 Windsor Deluxe dealer brochure.
Both illustrations are gouache and airbrush pigment on artboard, each 23 inches wide. They are incredibly detailed -- click below on the 300C's headlights, its driver or her pipe-smoking passenger to enlarge. We're offering it in the Plan59 store as a special-edition fine-art print. Click here to order. (For an alternate version without text, click here.)
Technical details: The artwork was captured in eight sections using a Umax Mirage II flatbed scanner at a resolution of 1600 dpi. This resulted in a 1.2 gigabyte image file 34,000 pixels wide.
This was also an airbrush-and-gouache painting, used to illustrate in the inside front page of the 1955 Chrysler Windsor Deluxe sales brochure, as well as magazine advertisements. We're offering it in the Plan59 store as a special-edition fine-art print. Click here to order.
The technical details: The artwork was captured in 10 sections using a Umax Mirage II flatbed scanner at a resolution of 1600 dpi. This resulted in a 1.9 gigabyte image file 32,000 pixels wide.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2010
The automotive world lost a great talent, and Plan59 a good friend, with the passing last week of Larry Baranovic, who died on Friday at his home in North Carolina. Larry, who illustrated Chrysler Corporation sales brochures and advertising from 1954 through 1957, was a pivotal figure in midcentury automotive art and had a distinguished career into the 1980s. He was a meticulous draftsman, skilled with the airbrush, a keen student of psychology, as well as an accomplished pianist and witty raconteur. His seemingly boundless energy belied his 90 years (he had just bought a new Escalade, and had a garage built to keep it in), so his sudden death comes as a shock to those who knew him -- a circle in which I was fortunate to claim membership.
Some time ago the telephone rang and a booming voice came on the line: "This is Larry Baranovic, the famous illustrator!" With that began a friendship conducted over the phone and through the mails, with frequent packages arriving from Charlotte bearing examples of his life's work -- brochures, tearsheets and some eye-popping original artwork that we'll be putting online over the coming months. We salute Larry for his towering talent, thank him for his great generosity, and bid a sad farewell to a real class act. Bon voyage, and job well done.
Below, Larry circa 1957 during his years with Ford Canada (click to expand), and below that, his cover for the Chrysler 300C brochure, whose many illustrations he painted in less than a week -- a "rush job" for which he billed Chrysler $35,000.
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