Here is one of my favourite pieces by Frederick Siebel. I love the rich colours and sumptous environment, the energetic technique Siebel used, the zaftig model - her curves so lovingly defined...
... and most of all, I love Siebel's portrayal of the artist. I've wondered if it was in some way a Fritz Siebel self-portrait.
I believe our character - our personality - is reflected to some degree in our work, but considering the tremendous range of styles and techniques we've looked at this week, its hard to determine if Frederick Siebel was a carefree creative spirit...
...or a buttoned-down commercial arts professional.
Yesterday, the picture of Frederick Siebel began to come into sharper focus. Out of the blue, the following email message arrived:
"I just sent a link of your Fritz Siebel post to my family. What a great surprise for us. I am his son (same name) and I want to reach out. You have works we haven't seen in years. Did you know he was the original conceiver and designer of the Mr. Clean icon?
I hope to hear from you.
Kind regards, Fritz Siebel"
Isn't the Internet amazing? I sent an enthusiastic reply and hope to hear back soon. When I do, I'll post it here so we can all learn a little more about this amazing artist.
Meanwhile, another email message arrived from Pablo Medrano in Barcelona. Pablo writes, "Is it possible that Frederick Siebel signed his late works as “Fritz Siebel”? I found some references on the web about a Fritz Siebel illustrator, specialized in children books on 60s and 70s."
Pablo sent along a list of children's books illustrated by Fritz Siebel... and I was stunned and delighted to see that one of them has long been a family favourite in the Peng household: Mike McClintock's 'A Fly Went By'!
I can't begin to tell you how many times I read this book to our boys at bedtime when they were little. Not to mention, I can still recall pouring through this book in my school library back in grade 3, and being captivated by the outrageous shenannigans Siebel portrayed in his vigorous cartooning style.
Take a look at the two Siebel ads above, both from 1957, and the cover of the book below, published in 1958, and its not hard to imagine that they are by the same artist.
I've often said that Siebel's work struck me from the moment I first saw it. I just hadn't realized that moment was nearly 40 years ago!
* My Fritz Siebel Flickr set.