Charles White III
Ladies and Gentleman: The Rolling Stones, 1974
Acrylic airbrush on board
Signed on recto
Illustration for The Rolling Stones documentary film

Charles White III

1959 Art Students at Chouinard Art Institute, from left to right: Joe Goode, Jerry McMillan, Ed Ruscha, Pat Blackwell

1965 "The Cool School" from left to right: Charlie White, Ed Ruscha, Joe Goode

Alex Murawski, Bob Hickson, Mark Ryden, Brian Zick, David Willardson and accompanying studio, Jose Cruz, Kim Whitesides, and Mark Fredrickson
What's So Funny, 1985; Mixed media
Signed on recto; Collaborative illustration for LAX magazine
18 inches x 10 feet

What's So Funny; Alex Murawski detail

What's So Funny; Bob Hickson detail

What's So Funny; Mark Ryden detail

What's So Funny; Brian Zick detail

What's So Funny; Dave Willardson detail

What's So Funny; Jose Cruz detail

What's So Funny; Kim Whitesides detail

What's So Funny; Mark Fredrickson detail

John Van Hamersveld
Atomic Banana, 1970
Ink on photo stat paper render with rapidograph pen and ink;Signed in ink on recto
26.5 x 18 inches

Bob Zoell
Sex is Fun and Funny, 1984
Acrylic on board
Signed in pencil on recto
27.5 x 43.5 inches

Millard Sheets
Design for the Facade Home Savings, 11234 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, c. 1959
Gouache on board; Annotated and signed by the artist’s son, Tony Sheets in 2003, in ink on recto; 19 x 36.75 inches

Millard Sheets
Design for the Mural at the Former Home Savings, 2600 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, c. 1970; Gouache and watercolor on board
Annotated and signed by the artist’s son, Tony Sheets on verso; 12.5 x 34 inches

Millard Sheets
Design for the Mural at the Former Home Savings, Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, c. 1955
Gouache and watercolor on board; Annotated and signed by the artist’s son, Tony Sheets, in ink on verso; 19 x 27 inches

Mark Ryden
Untitled, 1984
Acrylic on board; Illustration for video game; Signed on recto in Acrylic
32.5 x 26.5 inches

Todd Schorr
X-Mas, 1982
Acrylic airbrush on board; Greeting card illustration
19.25 x 13.75 inches

Todd Schorr
Dog & Cat, 1982
Acrylic airbrush on board
Greeting card illustration
12 x 17 inches

Todd Schorr
Untitled, 1996
Graphite on paper; Signed and dated in pencil on recto
Study for the painting “Hamburger Deluxe”; 14.5 x 11.5 inches

Lou Beach
Police, c. 1980
Mixed media collage
Album cover illustration for The Police; 18.25 x 18 inches

Royal Scam, 1974
Acrylic on canvas; Signed on recto
Album cover for Steely Dan; 102 x 102 inches

Charles White III
Michelen & Hill (Jukebox), 1972
Acrylic airbrush on board;Signed on recto
Illustration for Michlen & Hill poster; 27.75 x 16 inches

Peter Palombi
Nate’s Health Food Store, 1974; Watercolor airbrush on board
Signed and dated on recto; Illustration promotional materials; 17 x 16.5 inches

Dave Willardson
Yo Yo, 1980
Acrylic airbrush on board;Singed in ink on recto
Illustration for Portal Publications Calendar; 23.25 x 18 inches

Margo Nahas
Rolls of Hundred Dollar Bills, 1988
Airbrush and multimedia on board; Editorial illustration
15.5 x 17.25 inches

Charles White III
Ashes to Ashes (Smoker’s Table), 2011
Painted wood, books, ashtray, table; Signed on the bottom
Reproduction of 1972 original created for National Radio Hour lobby; 24 x 24 x 30 inches

Ben Talbert
Pacific Gas & Electric: Get It On...Blues, 1968
Gouache on board; Signed and dated on recto
Album cover illustration for Pacific Gas & Electric; 29.5 x 30 inches

Jim Evans, Robert Williams, Glenn Chase & Ed Newton
Comic Jam (four panels), c. 1967
Ink on board; Signed in ink on recto on first panel
Comic illustration for Tuesday’s Child; Image: 4.75 x 11.5 inches; each

William George
William Boyd - Hopalong Cassidy (and the Square Dance Holdup), 1950
Gouache on board; Signed on recto
Album cover and book reader illustration for William Boyd; 21 x 21 inches

Dave Willardson
Hi Yo Nader
Acrylic airbrush on board; Signed in ink on recto
Illustration for political campaign poster commissioned by the Nadar Group; 22.5 x 18.5 inches

Patrick Nagel
Untitled, c. 1980
Acrylic on board; Signed and annotated on recto
Illustration for Playboy; stamps on verso; 22 x 15 inches

Dennis Mukai
Going for Baroque, c. 1979-80
Acrylic airbrush on board; Signed on recto
Illustrated in Playboy; 18 x 15 inches

Charles White III
Egg on Floor, 1973
Watercolor airbrush on board; Signed on recto
Illustration for IDEA magazine cover, Japan; 17.25 x 13.5 inches

Peter Lloyd
Bored, 1970
Airbrush on board; Signed on recto
Illustrated in OUI magazine; 15.5 x 12 inches

Len Steckler
Untitled, 1950
Watercolor on canvas
Singed in pencil on recto
Illustrated in Ladies Home Journal
16.75 x 23 inches

PAID TO PLAY: Illustrating L.A. 1945 - 1985

Curated by Robert Berman, Dave Willardson and Charles E. White III

September 17 – December 23, 2011

ROBERT BERMAN GALLERY presents PAID TO PLAY – an overview of the oft overlooked Southern California artists rooted in illustration, commissioned to create imagery for record albums, magazines, advertisements, et al. A genre dirtily linked to commercialism but nonetheless full of innovation, technique, artistic expression and speed.

“Fueled by a combination of intense demand, sleepless nights and brutal competition, the four men at the center of LA’s airbrush market – Dave Willardson, Charles E. White III, Peter Palombi and Peter Llyod – embarked on careers that produced iconic work for Playboy, Levi’s, the Rolling Stones, along with major studio films such as American Graffiti and Tron.” - Overspray: Riding High with the Kings of California Airbrush Art.

And the wrangler of these men was Mike Salisbury – the art director of West magazine, the Sunday supplement of the Los Angeles Times, beginning in the late 60s – who was for illustrators what Ferus Gallery was for beat artists – a platform to project Los Angeles cool to the world at large.

Though the visuals defined a generation, most west coast illustrators never landed the fine art jump with the aplomb of their east coast contemporaries like James Rosenquist, Tom Wesselmann and Andy Warhol. But perhaps the most convincing testament to the relevance of a movement largely branded as irrelevant would be the 1969 West magazine cover painted by Ed Ruscha, commissioned by Salisbury, which fetched $578,500 at auction in 2009.

Included in the exhibition are works by Willardson, White, Palombi, Llyod, Lou Beach, Pat Blackwell, Tim Clark, Dante, Sean Douglas, William George, Bill Imhoff, Patrick Nagel, George McManus, Dennis Mukai, Martin Mull, Margo Nahas, Jayme Odgers, Neon Park, Everett Peck, Mark Ryden, Todd Schorr, Millard Sheets, Tommy Steele, Len Steckler, Ben Talbert, John Van Hamersveld, E. Franklin Wittmack, Zox and others.

PAID TO PLAY is part of Pacific Standard Time. This unprecedented collaboration, initiated by the Getty, brings together more than sixty cultural institutions from across Southern California for six months beginning October 2011 to tell the story of the birth of the L.A. art scene.


Art galleries in Southland hope event is a big draw
Pacific Standard Time could lift sales at showplaces and related firms
Participating Gallery