Nagel led the new movement of illustration in Los Angeles, CA in the late 1970’s and early 80’s. Nagel provided new thinking within graphic arts and defined LA as the focal point of world-renowned visual arts. LA and Nagel fed off eachother in providing inspiration and cementing LA as the leader in visual arts. His work focused on the moment. He influenced many well-known fashion icons including the style of music videos by David Bowie, Robert Palmer and George Michael, as well as the album cover art of Duran Duran.

Nagel portrayed a complex woman. She provides a level of subliminal appeal that is difficult to miss. She wants attention, sometimes flauntingly, but remains distant. She appears intelligent, self-possessed, but removed. Nagel often said that he didn’t really want to know these women too well. He imagined them as creatures of the night who drank and smoked too much. Much like the classic pin up tradition Nagel’s art portrayed the ever-changing role of women in American culture.  His style evolved with the women of the times, as his women of the seventies are shown as softer, more vulnerable and innocent than his stronger, more self assured women of the eighties.

Fashion and art have once again come full circle, illustrating the relevancy of Nagel and his undeniable influence and timelessness.

 

Sources:

Art history archive

Nagel Biography