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Sep 8 15 7:51 PM

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Greetings all:

No idea who signs on to this site anymore, but for those interested, the first draft of the Patrick Nagel biography is nearing completion. As I had hoped, it's drawing the interest of several agents and publishers alike. Of course, this is the very first of several hurdles we need to clear, but I'm pleased at the progress thus far.

In other news, signed serigaphes do seem to be in short supply. Those that are up for sale on EBay are extremely high priced and not selling at all. That doesn't concern me, because it's just more people trying to make a fast buck. More important is the lack of genuine pieces to be found ANYWHERE. Lots of commemoratives out there, but far fewer lifetime, numbered and signed than there were a year or two ago.

All this leads me to suspect that even more pieces were destroyed than I'd previously calculated. However, everything could change if the book gets traction, is made into a film or somehow hits the media in a big way. i imagine that if that were to occur, more genuine pieces would come out of the woodwork.

In any event, I expect the book to be out there early to mid 2016. Election years are not the best times to release a book, but you gotta play the hand you're dealt!
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#3 [url]

Sep 22 15 7:18 PM

UPDATE: Patrick Nagel Biography 9/22/2015

Greetings all:

Just a note to keep you in the loop.

The first draft of the Patrick Nagel biography is now completed. By first draft, I mean the entire manuscript is written, encompassing 20 chapters, not including the Acknowledgments. At this moment, there are no fewer than 30 agents and publishers expressing interest. Some see it as a book, others see it as a film, and a few see it as both. Personally, I got way more than I bargained for. Maybe it's the way I wrote it. Maybe it's just the amazing stories and characters I discovered. But I found myself truly moved by both. It's at once a very sad yet uplifting adventure.

In any event, the next step is to secure a great agent and then, perhaps, a smart editor. It's possible to get too close to your own writing.

More as things develop.

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#4 [url]

Sep 25 15 8:53 PM

hey Rob,

i presume by sad, you are referencing Patrick's potential to produce what would still be the oeuvre of his career, considering his untimely demise at too young an age.

as a whole, it would be interesting to see what artists (and their work) tried to pick up the mantle of his artistic genius and and continue it.

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#5 [url]

Sep 26 15 7:44 AM

Actually, Patrick's premature death is just the beginning. He's a very tough subject for any forensic writer. The book is about Patrick, his family, his firends and business associates. There are big victories, to be sure, but there are sad, broken dreams, as well, shared by all involved.

To answer your question, clearly Dennis Mukai was, according to Patrick, "better at Nagel than Nagel." He was so good, in fact, that Karl Bornstein signed him to an exclusive contract -- and then refused to publish him, viewing Mukai as a threat to Nagel's work. Mukai eventually took up Parick's spot at Playboy, but eventually reinvented himself and his own style. Steve Leal gave it a try, too, as did Clayton LeFevre and lots of nameless hacks tried. None that I know of really made any serious progess, less because they weren't Nagel but more likely because they lacked what he put into his art and the fact that the Nagel "phenomenon" had been squandered and was over.

I assume everyone here is aware of the current Moonbeam City issue.....

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#7 [url]

Sep 28 15 2:36 PM

Moonbeam City

Jennifer is not the kind of person that is quick to pick a fight. Being a branding strategist that does a lot of expert testimony on trademark infringement, I urged her to contact Rob Lowe's production company through her attorney, if only to show her concern and possibly work something out. At this point, I have no idea if she took my advice.  In trademark and patent matters, it's the owner's responsibility to police their property and pursue abusers.  If they don't the courts view them as having not been concerned and that the abuser committed no offense.  This could be a real problem -- or a real opportunity -- for her.  But my job is to advise.  I don't want to overstep my bounds here.  I hope she does do something, though.  These folks could be a great help to the book and beyond.

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#8 [url]

Sep 30 15 4:27 PM

robfrankel wrote:


i dont understand how Patrick could think or feel that Mukai's work better than his own. although closer to Patrick's style than Steve or Clayton's (which neither is after Nagel's work at all), it still doesn't have most of the feel, lacks most of the imagination, and the suggestion is very sub par. sure it has japanese wood block, but none of the art deco, which was very important to imbue a sense of power and authority. when it came to sex, it was the suggestion which was most important for the purpose of being published in playboy to begin with. the novelty of the style though was the sense of dominance that Patrick gave to the Nagel woman. all the other pictures of real women in playboy were of women who served the viewer. the Nagel woman was the opposite. she was both sexual and dominant.

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#9 [url]

Sep 30 15 9:11 PM

Actually, one of the big myths out there is the attribution to Japanese wood blocks. There's just nothing I could find to justify it. Art critics like to mention it, but it simply doesn't appear anywhere else other than their own critiques.  So there's that. The record shows that it was Patrich himself who introduced Dennis to Karl and others using that phrase. Personally, I always maintained that Mukai's early work was derivative of Nagel's, and when I interviewed him, he as much as agreed. Dennis is a smart, talented, softspoken man. It didn't take him too long to figure things out and re-invent his style and career. His work for Playboy filled a void after Nagel's death, but eventually, his similarity in style held him back. He never wanted to be known as "the guy who took over Nagel's thing." I agree that Mukai's style didn't capture what Nagel's did....I suspect Mukais knew that, as well, but at the time, that's what people were paying for.

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#10 [url]

Oct 1 15 12:28 PM

other than myself, the written reference may be limited to art critics (as if more weight should be attributed to non professionals), but how about just a straight picture to picture evaluation to compare the styles? Patrick's style may be a limited form of Japanese wood block. but the similarities are obvious, the two-dimentional field, the deep attention to and dependence on line, a monochrome color scheme. To ignore the similarities may be akin to saying that a woman is a different animal than a man. sure, there are many differences in so much that the Nagel style doesn't have the breadth of Japanese wood block, but the resemblances and their dominances of them in total which compose his style are too many to dismiss it. What is the alternative, to suggest that Patrick came up with it himself?
Just like art deco. Their is so much more that composes the complete make up of art deco than what can be found in Patrick's work. but that doesn't mean that there is no art deco style in the Nagel woman.
Patrick's uniqueness lay in the combination of art deco with Japanese wood block. his style, as any unique style, doesn't need to have all the elements of art composition which compose a recognized school to be made of them. it's not unlike evolution or to suggest that the theory that humans didn't evolve from monkies because humans don't have all the physical characterisitcs which chimanzees have; irrelevant of the fact its a silly theory.


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#11 [url]

Oct 1 15 3:01 PM

One chapter of the book goes into some pretty detailed history on the evolution of his style. There are all kinds of factors that go into the deco aspect, but absolutely nothing to indicate that the "Japaness woodblock" is anything more than coincidence.  There are all kinds of red herrings, including those who believe that his subjects' white skin was a coded reference to cocaine. I could go on, but you get the point. I'm quite satisfied that he was not at all influenced by that Japanese woodblock stuff. To me, it's just another piece of evidence of how little most people, including "experts" seem to really know.

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#12 [url]

Oct 2 15 6:32 PM

Patrick Nagel "Kristen"

I have Patrick Nagel s Kristen and it has his original signature and dated 1983. I am not looking to sell it but does anyone know a possible value on it? I am planning on insuring it but I need to know a cost.

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#13 [url]

Oct 2 15 6:45 PM

Depending on the condition, if it's signed, numbered and in perfect condition, it's reasonable value would be $450. You'd get plenty of buyers at that price.  Maybe as high as $750.  However, replacing it would likely cost you more than that.  On EBay, I've seen people trying to sell this piece (and others) for way higher prices. Some as high as $7,500, which at this time, is ridiculous.  I haven't seen one of those actually sell.  If you believe as I do that these pieces are rising or about to rise in value, I'd insure it for $1000.

Side note:  In 1983, I bought the same piece for $500. A year later, Galerie Michael was selling it for $5,000.  But that was a long time ago.


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#14 [url]

Oct 4 15 10:21 PM

well the fact that Homo sapiens and monkeys share 99% of dna code, there are a lot of people who have religious faith that means that one evolved from the other. the alternative would be to suggest that he never saw woodblock and considered it. too much similarity to suggest he regressed to two dimensional white space with a heavy dependence on line with the same absence of color on his own, irrespective of a formal secondary education and appreciation for the work of other graphic artists. i dont think he invented sexual innuendo either. but who knows, maybe sex sells to every guy whether he sees a woman or not.

good, i'm not the only one who is looking forward to your delving into exploring his style.

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#15 [url]

Oct 11 15 5:58 PM

UPDATE: Patrick Nagel Biography 10/11/2015

Greetings all:

Quick update to inform you that the SECOND draft of the Nagel biography is now complete. There are roughly 40 agents/publishers interested in the manuscript at this time.  Next week, they'll each receive samples and excerpts, on which they base their decisions to either move forward or decline. If I can close a deal, this book could get out there by Summer 2016, which is my goal. It currently is 300 - 320 pages.

Cross your fingers.

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