Normally, when I do a profile like this, I do a short biography and some background of the subject… but there are times when I just want to shut up and let the man’s work do the talking.
This is especially true of Robert McGinnis, whose work is as popular with ordinary people as with book editors and publishing houses. I have to tell you, this is an artist of exceptional talent — yeah, he doesn’t do “fine” art, but I have to tell you, his art is just fine by me.
If like me you’ve read many paperback novels, McGinniss’s work will probably be familiar to you; and even if you haven’t, his style will be instantly recognizable. If you look for “journeyman artist” in a dictionary, it will be his face right there under the entry title. Here are a few examples:
…and I know, I’m going to hear mutters of “graphic art, not fine art”. Yeah, I know: he’s no Boldini (whom we will be examining later this month). But just because McGinniss has earned his living with the above kind of work, it doesn’t mean that he’s incapable of a different class of art — like this one:
And then there’s this one, in which you can almost taste the dust:
…and this one, full of menace (can you spot it?):
I can hear the cries now: “Oh, Kim! Cowboy art? My smelling salts!”
Honestly, I think McGinnis’s work transcends style and trend: they are simply pictures which tell a story; sometimes you have to look for it, and sometimes it’s quite obvious. One more, for luck:
Yeah, it’s James Bond. Why not James Bond?
McGinnis is still alive, and he’s still painting, I think. Go ahead and google his name if you want to see more of his work. It will take you a while to get through it all, but hey: it’s Sunday.