Lot 8108: Exemplary original painting of an African-American trumpet player, oil on canvas, 15.5 x 19.5, accomplished by James Dean, signed in black paint in the lower right corner, "James Dean, 1954." This vivid oil painting, exhibiting bright red, orange, and yellow brush strokes, is lavishly framed to an overall size of 26 x 30. In fine condition. Oversized. Accompanied by a 1995 letter of authenticity from David Loehr of the James Dean Gallery, in part: "This letter is in regards to the oil painting of a…trumpet player signed by James Dean 1954. Based on the style of the painting and the colors used, I believe that, to the best of my ability, it does indeed appear to be the work of the film star James Dean." This piece is prominently documented in the James Dean Collectors Guide by David Loehr (1999) page 262; James Dean by George Perry (2005) page 89; and once hung in the James Dean Memorial Gallery (confirmed in an included 1997 letter from David Loehr); photos of the painting hanging in the gallery are also present.Known for his legendary Hollywood status, most are unaware that Dean was actually an accomplished artist. Dean's most famous and final work—a portrait of actor and musician Billy Gunn—has distinct similarities to the here-offered painting: most notably his distinct, bold brush stokes and his block letter-style signature. This is one of only three documented Dean paintings from 1954, the year he would shoot his classic East of Eden. This is a truly spectacular piece, both for its artistic merit and close ties to this pop culture icon.
RR Auction's Remarkable Rarities Auction 461
Monday, 28th September 2015
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