For the fan of clown art, or, the fan of the world famous mime and actor Marcel Marceau, or, the fan of singer and entertainer Eydie Gorme----here is one work of art that ties together all of these things. This is a watercolor, gouache and ink drawing on paper, 23 1/2" by 17 3/4" (30 1/2" by 24 1/2" as framed), signed at lower right "CRIONAS" and dated 1958, the subject the iconic Marceau as his alter ego character, "Bip". The piece was acquired here in Los Angeles from the nephew of singer-entertainer Eydie Gorme, in whose Beresford (211 Central Park West) New York apartment this once resided. The artist, George Crionas, is known for his drawings of clowns, golfers, and race track fans. Many of his works were made into limited edition prints, and they are frequently seen on the art market, though original works are less often seen. Crionas was born in Detroit, and spent much of his life as an artist in Los Angeles before passing away in 2004. This would be an earlier example of his work. At the time, Marcel Marceau (1923-2007), world-renowned in later years as a beloved mime, was just attaining fame, having used pantomime to quiet children headed to exile in neutral Switzerland during World War II. He created the "Bip" character in 1947, and it came to be his trademark in a way that the "Little Tramp" came to be synonymous with Charlie Chaplin. In subsequent decades of the last half of the century, and up to just a short time before his passing, Marceau (and "Bip" and his misadventures) became an act known world-wide. He was a guest on many television programs, a publisher for children's books, and the founder of a school of mime in Paris. Eydie Gorme (1928-) (see her website) along with her husband Steve Lawrence were active in the American entertainment scene from the 1950's up until recent years. Gorme, judging from her website photos with such luminaries as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Liza Minnelli, Jack Benny, Shecky Greene, Johnny Carson, and on and on, would very likely have personally known Marceau, and that might explain how this came to hang for so long in her New York apartment. It is interesting to look at the work and speculate as to the meetings, celebrations and other social occasions it might have witnessed as it hung on the wall in New York for so many years. The son of Gorme's recently deceased older sister, from whom I purchased this, said he clearly recalled it hanging there in New York when he visited as a youngster (he's now in his late 50's). Condition of the art is excellent with fresh colors and no water damage. The frame has a little wear but it's perfectly presentable and the originality of the whole package is very attractive and interesting. See the net for more on these figures....the artist, the mime, and the singer. .
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