Sunday, January 22, 2006
The Mysterious Lucia
Back when there were only about twenty Today's Inspiration list members, I found this first piece, signed "Lucia". I thought it was so great, I immediately sent it out to the group. I didn't know much about illustrators from the fifties back then, but I knew enough to catagorize this Lucia with the likes of Coby Whitmore, Joe Bowler, and Joe De Mers.
Lucia was clearly adept at painting georgous women in romantic settings. His work had a lively roughness, a sketchiness - that textural quality - that was emerging during the mid-fifties among the top boy/girl illustrators, especially those at the Cooper studio in New York.
But with no listing in "Illustrator in America" and with my most knowledgable contacts unable to shed any light on who he was, Lucia remained just a signature on the occassional magazine ad I came across. His accounts included Gibson greeting cards, Orlon textiles, and the Santa Fe rail line. For the longest time I thought he was strictly an advertising illustrator, then more recently I discovered pieces like this one, proving that he also had done editorial work - though none for The Saturday Evening Post, that I've seen.
Here, he even demonstrates a flare for the kind of collage-y experimentation that Al Parker introduced and everyone else imitated during this time. I found pieces in Collier's, American, and Better Living, always signed ( or even just credited ) with that single name: Lucia.
Like so many others, his magazine career seems to have ended with the arrival of the sixties. No doubt he went on to the largely anonymous world of paperback book and record jacket illustration. I'm hoping someone in the know will read this and shed some light on the mysterious "Lucia".