Frazetta is without question the master of Fantasy Art. He exploded all the old preconceptions of Fantasy as a pastoral realm of cute elves, sprites and wise wizards, and re-envisioned it as a brutal wilderness inhabited by virile, ruthless warriors hewn from pure muscle, and armour-clad amazons with astonishingly voluptuous bodies, locked in perpetual combat with horrific primeval monsters and demons. Once Frazetta had wielded his paints Fantasy could never be the same again.
Born in Brooklyn in 1928, he absorbed the colourful pulp adventures of Tarzan and Flash Gordon, and in the fifties he excited the next generation of Fantasy-lovers with his comics and illustrations for the seductive lady blood-sucker, Vampirella, and most fatuously Robert E. Howard's hero, Conan The Barbarian.
His work, with its high levels of testosterone, wicked humour and compositional skill, has been a profound influence on film-makers such as John Milius, Clint Eastwood and George Lucas. In the sixties Frazetta's images became the poster art for psychedelic counterculture. Frazetta was no political radical, but his art ripped apart the clean, ordered world of suburban America and replaced it with a gorgeously rendered wasteland of violence and sensuality.