Art Showcase

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The Art of Mort Künstler / The American Spirit / A New Nation

Here you will find a pictorial chronicle of the drama and excitement of American History. These paintings give the viewer an insight into the tumultuous life of this young nation that mere words cannot achieve.



Whale Hunt




Original Painting available for sale.
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Mort Kunstler's Comments
This painting is one of four newer versions of whale-themed paintings I originally did in the 1950s for Magazine Management’s men’s adventure magazines.

The other newer versions in this whale painting series are Out of the Sea, Tail of a Whale, and Whale of a Tale.

You’ll notice this painting is horizontally oriented. The magazine titles were always in the upper left-hand corner, so that was always a consideration in my compositions. I tried to use dramatic perspectives to have the prominent focal points be extra large.


The Era of Men's Adventure

Beginning in the 1950s, Künstler’s illustrations were sought after by art directors of the leading magazines. Künstler’s captivating and sometimes provocative images adorned the covers of Stag, For Men Only, True Adventures, Male and True Action magazines. Magazine Management, the publisher of these magazines, asked Künstler to use pseudonyms because he was doing so much work for them. Two of the pseudonyms he used were Martin Kay and Emmett Kaye – a play on his initials “MK”. These illustrations have become emblematic of the pop culture of that era.

From Men’s Adventure Magazines in Postwar America
(Max Allan Collins and George Hagenauer, Taschen GMBH, 2004, p. 500)

“Künstler was at the top of the game in the genre, putting incredible detail and accurate descriptions of uniforms, weapons, and settings into his paintings, even when illustrating the likes of “The G.I. Who Raided Saigon Sally’s Sin Barracks.”

“His art has appeared in major magazines, such as National Geographic. The Saturday Evening Post, and Newsweek, and his commercial oeuvre also includes film posters and advertising work. He is now considered to be one of the premiere fine artists in the U.S painting historical objects.”


The Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts opened a major retrospective exhibit of Künstler’s art in November 2014, including many of his Men’s Adventure art. Mort Künstler: The Art of Adventure, had over 80 pieces from early childhood through his most recent works. This traveling exhibit went to the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, Virginia, the Citadelle Art Foundation in Canadian, Texas, and the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook, New York.


Date Created: 2015

Medium: Oil on monotype on canvas

Image Size: 18" x 29"

 

 
All illustrations by Mort Künstler. Text by Michael Aubrecht, Dee Brown, Henry Steele Commager, Rod Gragg, Mort Künstler, Edward Lengel, James McPherson, and James I. Robertson, Jr. - Copyright © 2001-2018. All Rights Reserved. No part of the contents of this web site may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means without written consent of the artist.