1915-1998 | American
Signed and dated "F. Sinatra 87" (lower right)
Oil on canvas
Few artists so thoroughly impacted the American cultural landscape as Frank Sinatra. A true Renaissance man, Sinatra was not only a talented singer and actor, but also a painter of great skill. This oil on canvas is a vibrant example of the abstract compositions that he created during his later years in the 1980s. Like many of his works, it pays homage to the American legacy of abstraction, highlighting color and form while leaving subject behind.
For most of his life, Sinatra was an art lover. After rising to fame, he also became a collector of significance, acquiring works by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Walt Kuhn, Marc Chagall and David Hockney. Naturally, these works had a profound influence on the singer's own artistic style. The present work, which features squares of vivid color in a linear, geometric design, is particularly reminiscent of the minimalist works of American artist Ellsworth Kelly. It is a stunning glimpse into Sinatra's visual dialogue with the American greats, and an impressive work of minimalism in its own right.
Born in 1915 to Italian immigrants in New Jersey, Frank Sinatra rose to fame in the early 1940s, singing first with the famed "Sentimental Gentleman of Swing" Tommy Dorsey, and later striking out on his own as a solo artist. His career blossomed in the mid-1940s thanks to a series of successful, chart-topping singles when his baritone earned him the moniker "The Sultan of Swoon." He made his debut as an actor in 1943 with the film Reveille with Beverley, and in 1945, he won an Academy Award for the short film The House I Live In.
By the mid-1960s, Sinatra was an icon. He famously became the founding member of the "Rat Pack," an informal group of Las Vegas entertainers that also included Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and others. Sinatra briefly retired from his long-standing gig at Caesars Palace in the early 1970s, and it was during this period away from the stage when he painted the present work. Yet, he eventually returned and would continue to perform until 1995, when he played his last show at the age of 79. He died just three years later of a heart attack at the age of 82. Today, Sinatra memorabilia, particularly such personal objects as his paintings, are highly prized by both lovers of his music and lovers of fine art.
Canvas: 57 3/4" high x 46 1/4" wide
Frame: 60 3/4" high x 49 1/4" wide