Thursday, January 6, 2011
Artist Roger Hane's work exemplified the look of mass media art in the early 1970s. His career and life were tragically cut short by a stupid, senseless murder committed by juveniles bent on stealing Mr. Hane's bicycle during a ride through Central Park in 1974.
His work was among my earliest influences as an art school student. His cover art for Carlos Castaneda's Ixtlan and C.S. Lewis' Tales of Narnia books were poured over like holy texts, every detail studied and marveled at.
Vanguard Productions, the publishing empire headed by my buddy J. David Spurlock, has published Roger Hane: Art, Life and Tragedy, a review of Mr. Hane's work and a fine selection of his paintings. It is available at the Vanguard web site and on Amazon.com.
A Separate Reality, by Carlos Castaneda, featured one of Roger Hane's signature paintings. Today it's surrealistic imagery may seem tired and trite, but Mr. Hane was among the first mass media artists to adopt the language of surrealism into popular art.
I have to confess I have never read a word of the Narnia series. I bought all of the books only for the cover art.
This piece was commissioned by DeBeers in the early 1970s.