Saturday, February 25, 2006


John Ciardi once said, “Modern art is what happens when painters stop looking at girls and persuade themselves they have a better idea.” Since we've been rambling for the last few weeks about modern art trends, I thinks it makes sense to heed Ciardi's advice and spend a moment visiting the paintings of Erich Sokol, the gifted illustrator / cartoonist for Playboy magazine.

Sokol had a splendid sense of light, color and atmosphere. He was far more talented than traditional pin up artists such as Vargas, whose uninspired paintings now sell for tens of thousands of dollars.

Note the confidence with which Sokol handles the stripes of light on the beach in the following painting, or his treatment of the foliage in the background. Nothing is labored, and no unnecessary details.

Although the beautiful girl was always the centerpiece of the cartoon, if you look closely you will see that Sokol had more fun painting the male counterpart-- the fat doctor, the grizzled farmer, the blustering general all left him more room for creativity.


Owen said...

Are the images supposed to link to larger version so we the captions?

Steve Simpson said...

same problem with the larger version links.

but great stuff!
Thanks for the reminder

Shane White said...

Oh lordy...haven't seen his work in a while. Brilliant curves and characters.

VanMan said...

Thanks for the posting and story, takes me Sokol's work...any chance of seeing the larger Jpeg's, woulf love to see the detail I remember!

David Apatoff said...

I apologize for the fact that the images don't link to larger pictures. This seems to be a blogspot problem, although so far they have been useless in helping me fix it. I will keep on trying--check back.

leifpeng said...


You might want to try hosting your images with a free Flickr account

The process for linking to the larger images is pretty simple, but even then, I can walk you through it if you like.

Anonymous said...

these links to the larger files should work:






Anonymous said...

wonderful work. What a talent

Griz said...

Do you know what size he painted for these cartoons ?

Roy Delgado said...

I always thought Sokol was as good or tied or better than or in the same league as all the great Playboy cartoonists, like Interlandi, Sneyd, Siegel, Dedini, Dempsey, etc., etc. ( and there are others ) Wow, what work.
Peter Plum