Norman Rockwell’s birthday was three weeks ago today. February 3rd. Who’s beautiful paintings of a slightly romanticizes early to mid 20th century middle class (dude to his low lighting) forever left a foot print in America history, and influenced many artist, from other painters, to photographers, and film makers in both style and substance, of the past, present, and years to come. Below are a few examples.
The most contemporary artist of today that Rockwell has left an impact on is probably comic book artist Alex Ross. On the right you see him homaging Rckwell’s “Peace Corps” with “Smallville”‘s Tom Willing and “Superman” Christopher Reeve for a 2002 “TV Guide” cover.
Another one by Ross, his version on Rockwell’s UN sketch.
If photographer Gregory Crewdson was more known outside the art world he would probably be known as the Rockwell for photography his “Beneath the Rose” and “Twilight” series that was done between 2002 to 2008, pays on homage to Rockwell not only in style -low light, but in story telling as well, showcasing Middle Class Blue Collar America. Looking at the images one could say not much has change in middle America in the past 50 years or so. The only difference you would see is in Rockwell’s paintings its all smiles, while Crewdson has none. Rockwell’s painting reflects a more prosper middle America, while Crewdson shows the more bleak America it is today. Sign of the times
One of the more famous covers of the “Saturday Evening Post” from June, 4th 1921 on the left, and on the right a “Life Magazine” cover from the (1940s?) – year not specific. Although the “Life” cover was most likely not staged like the other images, homaging Rockwell -since back in the day “Life” purpose was documenting America – one can’t think however if the photo editor had Rockwell’s famous cover in mind while choosing this image for the cover.