Mahlon Blaine

~ 1894 - 1969

Blaine lived in California, Oregon. Mahlon Blaine is known for Illustrator-books, fantasy genre, there are many stories floating about this artist based on false biographies. A childhood accident left the artist blind in his left eye, an accident that contributes to the flattened perspective that marks his work. Blaine however alleged to have seen combat in World War I, the Army rarely drafted the half blind. A well-documented chronic injury to his left arm was unlikely to have come from a war wound. The plate in his head of which he boasted was probably fictional. Few photographs of the artist survive, but his self-portraits further the likely fake war hero persona. 

Most of what is known about Mahlon Blaine is presented in the book, The Art of Mahlon Blaine (Peregrine 1982) by Gershon Legman with an introduction by Robert Arrington and bibliography by Roland Trenary. Even much of the biographical information in this book by Blaine's longtime friend is either questioned or countered  in the book's introduction by Robert Arrington. 

Perhaps his fictional representation of his life and history translate to his art, many of them fantasy with a dark and surreal vibe. I was able to sort out many artworks and place them into certain categories or books he illustrated. Of course it is his art for the book Justine (1935) that made me decide to add this artist to this website.

8 albums/71 artworks

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Karen Smits

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