Something really cool happened this past week.
A painting I did of Hugh Hefner was given to Hugh Hefner in person as a gift at the Playboy Mansion in LA.
And I gots the pics to prove it! Last week at the King Con Convention while i was talking shop with the Royal Flush crew, founder and editor-in-chief Josh Bernstein excitedly told me he had actually been invited to the Playboy Mansion by Hefner himself! There’s a lengthy interview with Hef in the newest issue, focusing on his early love of comic books, his transition to magazines and the trials and tribulations of starting up Playboy, plus some really great stuff i never knew about Hef. Upon receiving an advanced copy of the Royal Flush, Hef was blown away, very impressed with the issue’s design and content. This coming from a magazine magnate, an all-time titan of industry, was outstanding. And he wanted to meet Josh! Needless to say, JB was freaking out. He and his girlfriend Mara were going on Friday! Josh asked me if he could give Hef the painting I did of him and the bunnies as a gift, as a token of friendship. It’s the kind of question you don’t expect to be asked on any given day. “Of course!” I replied in shock, “Sure!”
I did the painting back in January. For some reason i did it larger than usual – 13” x 21”. In hindsight i was very glad i did. I got reference from a photo of Hefner and the Playboy Bunnies on a tarmac from the 1960s, during the early years of Playboy Magazine. Below are some photos of the process from the sketch through to the presentation.
Double page spread.
We put it in an 18” x 24” frame with a 13” x 21” matte inset.
Reflection of a smiling me in Hef’s suit.
The Money Shot. Pretty friggin cool. Josh said Hef loved the painting and was genuinely touched, showing it off to all the other guests at the mansion, including a reunion of bunnies from the 60s and 70s.
Two of which happened to be in the 60’s tarmac photo i had used for reference. Crazy! Josh and Mara had a fantastic time. Hef was really cool and a great host. They all watched the movie Basic Instinct – (!) haha – to a bunch of hooting and hollering from the audience. In Josh’s words, “It was surreal.” At the end of the night, Hef took the painting with him into his room. Hopefully it’s now hanging in a cool spot somewhere within the hallowed halls of the Playboy Mansion.
Thank you Josh for including me in your adventures. This is just the beginning.
The newest issue of Royal Flush Magazine is On Sale Now. Available Online or at finer magazine racks everywhere.