Art , smoking, and cigarettes….

although this industry has certainly seen better days, that is why Tobacco Row exists on the eastern part of the United States. Lets take a look at artists who have been inspired by such figures as the Marlboro Man or for such large tobacco companies as Lucky Strike. Lets think back to just a few short decades ago when Virginia Slims sponsored some major tennis tours and it was the Jack Benny Program sponsored by Lucky Strike

Here we have Chinese artist Shi Wei and a series he did titled Skinny lady.


Richard Hambleton is a well known artist from Canada who did a series inspired by the Marlboro Man advertisements. He started out a street artist and works mainly with figure in silhouette form.


In this clip we see the great musician Bob Dylan and good ole Andy Warhol share a smoke. Different times indeed!

Al Hirschfeld was m favorite caricature artist hands down. He was the reason I started drawing figures as a young boy. I enjoyed his clean lines and the clever way he hid his daughters name Nina in every work. I loved the way he made the smoke appear in many circular shapes and patterns. Here we see Humphrey Bogart enjoying a cigarette.


And here we see famous comedian Groucho Marx with his signature cigar. Its fun to see what the artist does with the smoke patterns, they remind me of the pill artist Fred Tomaselli.


Here is a signature work by famed artist Fred Tomaselli, its who I think about when looking at Hirschfeld’s figures that are smoking. Tomaselli uses pills, leaves, and any materials he can find in designing his wonderful works of art.


Here we have artist Keith Haring and some works he did back in the late 1980s with the Lucky Strike logo.


And another Haring offering.


Here we have famed figure artist Mel Ramos working with the Lucky Strike brand.


Its only recently that smoking has come under attack in North America. Companies like Phillip Morris and British American Tobacco are growing at a great pace in overseas markets. Here we see artist Jesus Bubu Negron with two very large and used up cigarettes. This was Art Basel in Miami this past December.


Xu Bing is very innovative artist who brings to use a idea for cigarettes other than smoking them, making art with them. Here is a video clip because the picture is nice, but you need to see something where the view goes back and forth so that you can get an idea as to how much thought went into the design of these Tiger Carpets.


This film clip goes back and forth to give a better idea as to design.

Smoking was so popular in this country that even ashtray design and fashion was a very large market at one time. Here we see famed design duo Georges Jouve and Mathieu Mategot.

Here is a great example of a bear claw style of ashtray.


Another artist working with the rural south would be the great Dean Mitchell. He grew up in Quincy, Florida about twenty miles from Tallahassee, Florida. He worked in these tobacco fields when he was growing up and he enjoys their nostalgic feel, back to a time when cigarette ads featuring celebrities were everywhere.  Here we see one of these tobacco farms that the artist enjoys painting. This is a painting of a southern tobacco barn.




And here we have some  works by Pablo Picasso.

picasso1 picasso2




And finally we have Alex Katz with a great piece of art.


Hope you enjoyed this look into tobacco and art!

After a comment regarding this genre, I recently found a new piece by Julian Opie featuring a woman and a cigarette,  that is just wonderful!





  1. An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a friend
    who was doing a little research on this. And
    he actually bought me breakfast simply because I found it for
    him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thanks for the meal!!

    But yeah, thanks for spending time to discuss this matter
    here on your web site.

    • diattaart1 Said:

      This morning I added another image to this article by British painter Julian Opie. I think you will enjoy this image. Its just below what used to the last image by Alex Katz.

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