This is Frank Frazetta’s cover for Downward to the Earth by Robert Silverberg:
There are no beautiful women here, no mighty warriors facing menacing beasts, none of the images that are so typically associated with Frazetta’s work. It is my very favorite Frazetta painting.
I do like paintings of women, warriors, and beasts, and I love the way Frazetta painted all of those things. But, despite their absence here, I think this painting exemplifies more than any other the element of Frazetta’s work that really made it special. Frazetta himself said of the painting, “This is very soupy, abstract to the point of barely being there. But the boldness of the color and the looser technique actually stops you faster than if I had gone in and carefully rendered everything in minute detail.” (Testament, p. 108). That’s what makes Frazetta’s work so powerful. It’s the visual silence, the emptiness that gives no…
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