Friday, June 27, 2008

Dick Oden Artwork



(current FRB exhibit)



















































































































































































Since I'm on the topic of memorials, I thought I'd post some work of Dick Oden, who was the head of the Illustration Department at CSULB until his passing in '93. Some quotes from his obituary: "The figure is above all a way to not have to intellectualize a relationship with your work... It's sort of equivalent to just hugging somebody as opposed to talking to them." "My reason for making a living out of art is that you're free to just take your pencil and pad somewhere. You just don't need any other equipment. That freedom is wonderful." "I've also always thought I would never get a job where I had to wear socks."

18 comments:

Bob said...

Thanks so much for posting these works by Oden. I was a student of Dick's during the late 80's. No other teacher influenced me more. He was a fabulous artist. I'd enjoy seeing more of his work if possible.

david mar said...

Hello Bob,

You're very welcome...He was a great guy - it was very sad he had to leave so soon. I'll post up some of the covers he did. I'd like to take digital photos of his mural, so hopefully that will be up early next year.

Anonymous said...

Nice job. First time I've seen any of Mr. Oden's work up like this. Been trying to collect some of his stuff since graduating back in '91. Just ordered that Stravinsky album off Ebay when I saw it up here. Say, where is that mural of his? Only one I've seen was the one that used to be at the former Museum of Science and Industry in LA --now the LA Science Center. No idea what happened to that one. Anyway, I'd like to check out this one that you have posted. Thanks ~Kevin

david mar said...

Sorry it took awhile to get back...Congrats on finding the album... it took me awhile to find the ones here at used record shops. Haven't seen the Science and Industry mural. The pictured mural here is from the SF Federal Reserve Bank. I'm sorry to report the mural has since been torn down after they did security renovations a few years ago. If I have a chance, I'll post the pics that I do have. In the meanwhile, I've posted some pics of what the current FRB looks like. I sure am glad they took down his mural for a big green chair and some piggy banks - granted there are some nice piggy banks in their collection.

alice picado said...

Hi David, I just googled Dick Oden and you were at the top of the list. Great blog! There's a little group of illustration students on facebook forming a group, if you'd like to join us (good for a laugh at old photos, at least!):
http://www.facebook.com/photo_search.php?oid=56594929874&view=user#/group.php?gid=56594929874&ref=nf
Hope that link works. ~alice picado

david mar said...

Hey Alice,

Good to hear from you again! Hope you're doing well... Wow, weird to see old photos - a little bit of the 80s in there - too funny!

Virginia Gott said...

Like so many, I too was a student of Mr. Oden at CSULB. What a wonderful individual and teacher who gave so much of himself and abilities.

I am thrilled to see that such a blog is existing today honoring Mr. Oden's talent drenched work. It's so deserving. Thank you!

Virginia Gott

david mar said...

Hello Virginia,

Everybody who knew him misses him it seems - it was very unfortunate for him to go. Though, it's good to hear you're enjoying his work once again! If he were still around, he'd probably say something about how his work has changed since then... In any case, I've since added another classic work of his - enjoy...

You're very welcome and thanks for taking a look.

Odyssey7 said...

Awesome-thanks. I remember so many of the lessons on life, love and art he taught on in lieu of technical instruction. Priceless.

david mar said...

You're welcome...hope someone is putting together a book of his work and teachings...

Anonymous said...

hi david.

dick oden was my instructor and a member of my master's committee back in the late 70's. i recently came in contact with someone who had been his student and it brought back a ton of memories.

it is so nice seeing his work again. what an amazing talent he was and what a great loss. i remember hearing he had died and going to a memorial for him at csulb but i wasn't remembering the date. 1993, wow, my dad passed away that same year.

i'm rambling here but i just wanted to add my word of thanks for keeping dick's work alive in your posting.

dick always got so frustrated with our class as we just didn't seem to get it and then all of a sudden his teaching took hold and be began to shine.

laura cornell went through the program when i did, she has become quite successful as a children's book illustrator. i continue to paint for my own pleasure and have enjoyed some success in the art world.

thank you dick for all of your crazy wisdom and for sharing your talent with us.

my website is mnico.weebly.com if you want to see some of my work and/or drop me a line.

all my best-r. mike nichols

Anonymous said...

I'm another '80s CSULB art graduate and recently accidentally stumbled upon a little video that I use to teach Plato's Allegory of the Cave. Dick Oden is the illustrator. That led to a google search to see what else I could find on a great artist and teacher, hence to you.
I'll try to link to the video but if it doesn't work it's on Youtube and called Animated Plato's Allegory of the Cave. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2afuTvUzBQ&feature=related

Daniel Quall King said...

I knew Dick Oden when we were both students at the (then) Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, from about 1955 to 1957. We roomed on opposite sides of the top floor hallway in one of the fraternity houses. Dick was a remakable draughtsman and had a doubly remarkable design imagination. I still have one of his anatomy exercises, a drawing of one of our models, Philip, flayed. I remember vividly one of his drawings for an assignment to reinterpret the symbol of Mexico, the Mountain, the snake and the eagle.

david mar said...

Thank you for your comments - especially for your vivid stories about life at Carnegie.

R Knox said...

I had Mr. Oden for several classes when I attended CSULB in the late 60's and early 70's. He was very well versed in illustration and encouraging to artists. He allowed you to explore your own way without inhibiting your creativity. I remember hearing he had passed away and knew the field of illustration had lost a very talented artist.

Ron Zeilinger said...

After reading many of these posts, I wish I was able to cut through what I perceived to be some very sharp critiques in the classes I had him as my teacher. I graduated from CSULB in 1989. Mr Oden left a lasting memory of being an incredible illustrator whose work was elegant, and as a teacher, didn't connect with me.
I unfortunately only recall many painful and embarrassing moments listening to him critique my and my fellow students work.

It was rough and many times I didn't "get" what he was trying to communicate to me.

A fellow student said, just crosshatch more and try to make your technique look more like his and he won't be so harsh......She was right....it worked.

Once I graduated, 10 years passed before i started drawing again and found a place to enjoy what i was doing.

Thank you Mr Oden for the memories.
I can look back and laugh at those moments as entertaining.

Anonymous said...

Thank you David Mar for the posts / blog. It is now Nov 2013. Not sure when all these post occurred? Last night I was at a dinner and the person hosting was taking an art class. The sample of art they were working with was on of my dad's, Dick Oden. It was crazy to see her describing values and hues and that from something I saw maybe 35 years earlier. He knocked that stuff out every weekend. In the pictures posted above, the pencil drawing of three people shaped into cars, that was me and a friend of mine. We had come home from playing to get something to eat. My dad needed us to do some quick poses. He had a Polaroid and would always have me pose for something. My friend was confused but I said this is normal for me. He took the pictures and we went out to play again. I was probably in 6th grade. Those Federal Reserve murals are me too. Sitting on some bench looking up at some weird direction. He would have loved cellphone cameras. Anyway I remember all the pieces you have here. Someday I'll scan or take pictures of what I still have for you. Thank you again. Noah

david mar said...

Hi Noah! Thank you for your fantastic stories about your dad - that was great to hear. It was so disappointing when I went back to the SF bank and your dad's mural was gone! I was wondering if maybe they saved at least part of it for you and family. Thank you also for the offer of the pics - if you feel up to it and have time maybe send them to Martha at LB if you can contact her directly(?)

thanks again - I'm glad you've enjoyed the post.