See Warhol, Dali and Jackson Pollock as graphic novel style heroes
This is Dali

Andrew Rae illustrates this biography of Salvidor Dali, one of 30 books in a new series about famous artists.

Young Dali at Work

As a child, Dali used a laundry room on the roof of his apartment as a studio. There, he painted on hatboxes from his aunt's millinery shop and filled the cement basin with water during the hot summer months.

Dali Throws a Party

Before he and his wife Gala returned to Paris in 1935, Dali charged admission for "The Dream Ball" in New York, where he became an instant sensation.

This is Pollock

Illustrated by Peter Arkle, the book looks at the brooding life and times of abstract expressionism pioneer Jackson Pollock,

Industrial-Strength Pollock

In 1936, Pollock worked with industrial paint and spray cans at the Experimental Workshop in Union Square.

Pollock's Disorderly Conduct

During a visit to San Francisco, Pollock went on a rock-throwing rampage.

Art Critic Meets Artist

Art Critic John Graham, a champion of Jungian theory who greeted guests dressed in Egyptian headdress and ceremonial skirt, put Pollock on the map in a 1942 exhibition.

Pollock's Native American Connection

Pollock visited a 1941 Native American art exhibition several times for inspiration.

Pollock at the Party

Pollock got drunk when high society types ignored his artworks at a party held at his girlfriend Peggy Guggenheim's apartment.

Pollock in Long Island

Pollock lived for 11 years at a farmhouse in Long Island, where he once paid a grocery bill with a painting.

Pollock Hears the Blues

Pollock listened for hours on end to singer Billy Holliday's bittersweet jazz recordings.

Thanksgiving with Pollock

Pollock overturned the table when a holiday dinner went awry.

Tavern Life

Tourists and groupies turned Pollock's favorite drinking spot into a circa-like atmosphere.

This is Warhol

Illustrator Andrew Rae used an "icy" palette for the backdrop to Andy Warhol's life story.

Warhol as a Child

Warhol grew up sickly in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The Warhol Townhouse

Warhol bought this Lexington Avenue townhouse in 1960 where he stored a huge collection of bric a brac.

Warhol's Factory

Headquarters from 1964 to 1968 for Warhol and his crew, the walls were covered in tin foil.

Warhol, Disco King

Warhol dominated the social scene at New York's famed disco club.

Warhol Explains Shyness

In his 1975 book, the artist explained "The Philosophy of Andy Warhol from A to B and Back Again."

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See Warhol, Dali, And Jackson Pollock As Graphic-Novel-Style Heroes

Catherine Ingram provides a colorful (Pollock's rock-throwing rampage!) new look at familiar artists.

Andy Warhol's childhood bedroom, Jackson Pollock's barroom misadventures, and Salvador Dali's royally weird product designs spring to candy-colored life in a new book series that pictures art world super heroes as eccentric graphic-novel characters.

Conceived and written by London-based art historian Catherine Ingram, This Is Warhol, This Is Dali, and This Is Pollock (Laurence King Publishing) alternate straight text with artworks and punchy illustrations to take a fresh look at the iconic artists. Ingram, an Oxford University PhD, explains, "These books are not an authoritarian art history where somebody's telling you your dates. It's about atmosphere, which is something I think illustration does so well."

Naked Man on a Red Sofa

For the Warhol and Dali books, Ingram storyboarded each visual interlude with what she laughingly describes as her "horrible drawings," then recruited Peepshow Collective illustrator Andrew Rae to produce the finished images. "He very good at taking the visuals to another level," Ingram says. "I asked him for a thumbnail of the red sofa in Andy Warhol's studio and of course he puts a naked man on the sofa."

"Andrew was also really good with color" she says. To get across Warhol's famously cool demeanor, "Andrew wanted something icy," she says. "With Dali he goes into this really opulent purple and red washes, and puts in all this kind of Victoriana detail. I didn't ask for that, but Andrew brought these things out after he read my text."

In the Mood for Pollock

Images are grounded in scrupulously researched details, right down to the posters shown on the wall of Warhol's childhood bedroom. Even when This is Pollock illustrator Peter Ankle portrayed the abstract painter as a grizzly bear, the flight of fancy had a foundation in fact.

Ingram says, "One of Pollock's friends described him as being like a big grizzly bear whenever he went drinking at the Cedar Tavern in Manhattan. So I said to Peter, 'You can draw Jackson Pollock as a bear.' He loved it. I wanted to show that freak show element where the busty lady comes in, the tourists all want something—Pollock might as well have been dressed up in a bear suit. That is what illustration allows, whereas if you used an archival photograph, it might glamorize the situation."

Human Interest Trumps Art Theory

"This is... " will profile Matisse, Klimt, Gaugin, Francis Bacon, and 23 other artists over the next few months, with each book weighing in at a concise 80 pages. Ingram has instructed the other writers on the project to think visually and forgo academic jargon. She recalls, "I used to go to the Tate Museum and see some huge text book, like on Cezanne, that I'd lug home but didn't read. Here, I wanted to create something that isn't too long and isn't a burden to read. If I suggest something to one of my artists that's a crap idea or doesn't work visually, they'll tell me 'This might be a good historical idea but it's going to come across as a boring image.'"

In place of arcane theories, the books aim to capture "the vibe" behind some of the world's most enduring artworks, Ingram says. "I tell all the writers in the series, don't talk massively about art movements because essentially, I feel these books are not about complicated ideas. These stories are about what how these artists express what it means to be human."

Check out the slide show for eye-popping moments featured in the illustrated lives of Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali, and Jackson Pollock.

[Images courtesy of Laurence King Publishing]

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