Model No.4 “Paper Cuts”

Model No.4 ``Paper Cuts``

by Mike Pitzer, 1988

When I left Wells, Rich, Greene in Century City I got an amazing job as Sr. Art Director at BBDO/San Francisco. The city opened up to me from the evening I arrived until I left for a short stint back in Detroit before returning to Los Angeles. I was single, making good money, I had a one-bedroom apart on the 2nd floor of an old victorian home, a permanent parking spot, all utilities included, a fireplace, and — I was straight. I created this piece and one other while I lived in San Francisco. I actually like this one the most because I started experimenting with the matting, making that part of the illustration. In this one, I splattered the mat with heavy paint. I let it dry and painted it flat black. Then I rubbed graphite into the matting area giving it an almost burnish, gun-metal look. I loved it.

This series, or style, came from the fact that I was always a big fan of the American artist and illustrator, Patrick Nagel whose art really celebrated the female form in an Art Deco-ish/Pop art-like graphic style. I could never lay gouache down as flat as Partick or Dennis Mukai, but I had an excellent connection with the Pantone paper people whole gave me several sheets of each of their color paper inventory back in the mid ’80s. I would do my graphic drawings, also heavily influenced by Art Deco in shape and color and Patrick and Dennis for content and form, and I’d create my art using completely cut-out paper shapes. I would then go back in with graphite and gouache to add shading or accent eyes and clean my fine-line edges. 35+ years later, they still have a beautiful, simplistic design quality to them.

  • Title: “Paper Cuts, Model #4”
  • Artist: Mike Pitzer
  • Medium: Canson Paper & Graphite on Illustration Board
  • Image Size: 30″ W x 40″ T
  • Signed & Dated: MPitzer 1988
  • Series: “Paper Cuts”
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