The work of David Wright was unknown to me before it’s introduction in the article by Peter Richardson in issue 2 of Illustrators Magazine. His pin-up paintings and comic book illustrations were immediately impressive, equalling that of more prominent artists such as Gil Elvgren and Harry Ekman, and left me firstly surprised that I hadn’t seen his work before and then hungry to see more. With perfect timing Titan Books have offered, Sirens: The Pin-Up Art of David Wright, a collection of over 250 pieces assembled by the art historian Terry Parker and Wright’s two sons, concentrating on his particular brand of elegant undress that graced the pages of wartime magazines, pulp fiction book covers, Schweppes advertising billboards and fashion illustrations.
The reproductions are varied, taking their source from vintage book covers, prints and original paintings, but remain of a high quality throughout and are clearly handled with care. Wright’s son, Patrick, offers historical background and context to the work in his introduction, leading onto a huge portfolio that will please any pin-up fan, ending with only a couple of samples pages of comic book illustrations that tempt the reader to search out Wright’s long running series Carol Day – currently only available to download as an e-book. It certainly would have been nice to see more of this included, but maybe it doesn’t fall under this volume’s remit and can be saved for a lavish print edition in the future.
In all, another fine book with masses of appeal for vintage illustration enthusiasts and an overdue celebration for an otherwise unknown and underappreciated artist.