Thursday, January 6, 2011

Kelly Freas Spock Portrait

Continuing the series of posts covering the set of Kelly Freas Trek cast paintings, first offered through Lincoln Enterprises in 1976. Last time, we saw Kirk's...this time we look at Kelly's Mr. Spock portrait...
(Click on images to enlarge.)

"Would you like me to... 'energize' you?"
In a pose and spacesuit from "The Tholian Web," we see Spock manning the transporter console with a rather impish (or some might even say seductive) expression. What does that glint in the eye signify... the onset of a slight case of Pon-Farr? The use of the suit illustrates Kelly's apparent desire to have the crew images look as different from one another as possible, through the dramatic use of props, poses and dress. (Although the IDIC would have been a more appropriate background, perhaps he was not versed well enough in Trek lore to be aware of it.) Most artists that do a series of crew portraits just have them all in the usual uniforms.

Below we have a closer look at the face. That face... which seems to resemble Nimoy somewhat less than last entry's did Shatner. I would probably put this at the bottom of the set as far as capturing the features accurately, but once again, the style in which it is rendered (Kelly's unique look) probably renders the complaint moot. Who am I to tell him how he should have painted it? All I can say is, when my 17 year-old self looked at it for the first time after getting the set in the mail, I thought, "man, that doesn't look that much like Spock!" That is probably akin to someone looking at a Picasso and saying "why does that man have both ears on one side of his face?" Oh, the ignorance of youth. What say you? Was I right? Or just irrelevent?

I am pretty certain I wouldn't want Spock looking at me that way while in the midst of a crisis. Or any time, come to think of it.

Update: As a bonus, I am retroactively adding to these portrait posts the salute that Starlog did for each actor in their Trek 25th Anniversary Issue, which came out in October of 1986 (just before the December release of "The Voyage Home." Below is their salute to Leonard Nimoy, most famous for creating the compelling alien character of Narab on "Zombies of The Stratosphere" in 1952, and also Mr. Spock on a TV show in the late 60's called "Star Trek."

"Hurry up, I'm about to fall over here!"

Bonus: Below, the nice Roger Stine painted cover art for the 1989 comic adaptation of "ST V: The Final Frontier." The inside artwork was nice, but considering the source, the story unremarkable. We did get to see the fire-breathing rock creature at the end, though... the one Shatner had scripted but didn't get to include due to budget limitations. It wouldn't have saved the movie, however.

At least the faces resemble the actors.


Rob Bignell said...

Looks a little like Nimoy from his "In Search Of" days, especially with the long, thick side burns ... I wonder if Freas was working from "contemporary" (1975-76) photos rather than those from the 1960s series.

Frederick said...

You may have a point there! They all do look a little more mature in their portraits than they did during the 60's... I bet you are right, considering how Scotty looks in his portrait!

Layne's Blog said...

Frederick, these are contempory paintings done from pictures of that time era. Freas was a remarkable artist. Look for references of the Martian that he does. It is outstanding. Please upload the rest of the paintings if you could please!

Frederick said...

Thanks for the comment and the clarification! That's good to know and as conjectured by Rob, explains the difference in their appearance. I agree he was a great artist, no argument there. Look for all the others to be featured in days to come!

Rob Bignell said...

Can't wait to see the Scotty one again - if I recall he was in beard and kilt with a pulp magazine rocket in the background.

Frederick said...

You are right, that was one of the most striking, and one that most accounted for the passing of time. I would not have minded if Scotty had a beard in later appearances, based on that image. I'll be posting that after the next one; which is McCoy.

Rocky WonderPug said...

The comic book is better than the movie.

And I have an autographed Frank Kelly Freas print hanging in my master bedroom. "The Gulf Between", which was the basis for what is arguably the most widely known Freas work - the cover of the 1977 Queen album "News of the World. Same sad-eyed giant robot, both beautiful works.

pat said...

The likeness is nice but his longer hair in the back needs a little trimming, great portrait.
A small request if possible Fred.
How about posting the Starlog salute for Spock and Kirk?
That would be great.
Awesome blog!

Frederick said...

While posting Sulu's, I found the Starlog issue with all the salutes in my cabinet, and decided to go back and add one to each of the portrait entries. However, it will take a couple more days until I fnish the scanning and posting process. Try back soon and you will see them added before long!