Saturday, March 15, 2008

POCO Horse

If you recall Poco, you have been around for a while. Phil Hartman of Saturday Night Live fame is said to have designed the Poco horse.

For years I have had this original ink drawing of the Poco horse and though it looked familiar to me, I never made the connection. I have lots of paintings, drawings and prints, which I collect, mostly by American illustrators, but also some Europeans, such as Klaus Voorman,

I have inspected it under a microscope and am sure it is not a litho.

Anyway, this one is signed "Claude Valle". Hmmmmm, a pseudonym? Or is the story apocryphal? Anyone know? Here's the guy who owns the original, so what is this thing that I have? Why would "Claude Valle" have signed it?

Poco Horse Update!

I was so intrigued, and certain enough of the hand-drawn look of the ink, that I googled the name "Claude Valle" and came up with a local email address to a Claude Valle, so, I emailed him and sent him a link to this post. He called me up today, and his story is amazing!

It turns out that MANY YEARS AGO, young Claude, like many of us, was a big Poco fan. So much so that he got out some paper, and carefully, very carefully, traced the image of the now-famous palomino straight off the album cover, and then, just as carefully, by hand, inked it in with a marker. Claude's girlfriend liked it, so she suggested he sign it, which he did, reluctantly.

Now we are all glad he did. Not only is the mystery solved, but Claude Valle, the artist who bothered to trace what he loved and then sign it for his girlfriend, is now in the league of pop icons such as Roy Lichtenstein, who basically have done the same thing as Claude, just in a bigger way.

In music, we call it a "cover". Copying isn't really what it's about. Admiration, appreciation, recelebration, and just plain wanting to have a piece of it - that's why Claude's work hangs next to a real Dali and another fake Dali, not far from a real Calder, and it's a good "cover" with real ink. Joe Cocker did a good cover of "With a little help from my friends" right?

Claude says he did two of them, and still has one.

So I'll keep this one.


LarryK said...

Yay, been hangin out for the answer.


Gordon said...


Anonymous said...

If you might like one of the signed original lithos of the Phil Hartman 'Poco' cover...I have one. Drop me a line, happy to send you an image file of it...