At this year’s LA Art Show, Rehs Contemporary will present a selection of works featuring some of the most iconic Marvel Comic characters; paintings completed by David Palumbo for Marvel Masterpieces 2020. At the art fair, which takes place at the Los Angeles Convention Center from July 29- August 1st, 2021, there will be a dozen works from the series on display; the first in-person viewing since they were unveiled.
Back in 1992, the non-sport trading card industry was transformed by an ambitious new release – Marvel Masterpieces. Every other year, Upper Deck Entertainment and Skybox team up with a single artist to release a new premium set of trading cards. It is the artist’s job to put their own unique spin on iconic superheroes and villains… David Palumbowas selected to complete the most recent set, which was put out last year. As his most extensive project to date, it required the completion of 135 original paintings, along with prep work and sketches; the artist spent nearly two years developing the body of work.
David Palumbo is a rising star in the comic and illustration arena. Most notably known for his work for Wizards of the Coast, Palumbo has completed more than 100 illustrations used on Magic The Gathering trading cards. In addition, he has done work for countless organizations and projects, including book covers, magazine illustrations, album covers, and advertisements. When it comes to this particular project, it was deeply personal. Aside from the sense of accomplishment in completing such a vast series, Palumbo notes that when he was just a teenager his mother and step-father, Julie Bell and Boris Vallejo, completed their own Marvel Masterpieces set. As he states, “to have this opportunity come back around to me nearly 25 years later is immensely gratifying and I am very proud of the set I produced.”
Following the release of the card sets, the original works were available directly from the artist; competition was fierce, as paintings would sell instantly upon their release. The collection assembled and offered through Rehs Contemporary includes some of the most desirable from the series, including Captain America, Black Widow, Beast, and Green Goblin, as well as an epic intergalactic battle in Hulk v. Thanos!
Palumbo has an incredible ability to capture motion in his brushstrokes; there is truly a dramatic flair to each piece. With that, we are able to see these figures in their truest and most recognizable form – in full speed action, as if they are about to burst off the panel through the frame. With Captain America (holofoil) shooting up through the flames, or the Green Goblin zipping overhead on his glider with smoke trailing off into the distance, these breathtaking scenes re-envisioned by Palumbo are certain to leave any Marvel fan in awe.