cartoonist and illustrator, contributed to the Wentworth Magazine , e.g .“Wentworth Magazine” exclusive fashion suggestion; original creation by our special artist December 1925, 47. This 'bulky young artist’ known as Petrov (real name Geoffrey Turton, according to CJ) worked on Smith’s Weekly in the late 1920s-early 1930s and appears to have come from a very different tradition to the Oz-Bulletin one, although his first identified cartoon for Smith’s was a rather conventional society one, published 27 November 1926,13. A more stylish, though rather Souterish, geometrical figure drawing was published on 31 December 1927, 9 (and presumably others). His elaborate filagreed drawings belong to 1930-c.1933, when he was employed as a staff artist as Smith’s while Driffield was away. He was known for his drawings of women (see examples). An excellent original drawing of two society women in a powder room (ML PXD 619/11), collected by Thomas Finch Roy Ottaway and presented in 1994, 'Why are you giving up your flat?’/ 'He is on the dole—’, was published Smith’s on 28 November 1931, 27 (in SLNSW show); PICMAN attributes it to H.B. Raine, but this was the person paid for the gag, which in no way suits the glamorous image.
In a complex group drawing, 'Where the Tompkins’ £5 Baby Bonus Went – on Goigle’s Christening’, Smith’s 21 March 1931, 16, Virgil and Petrov are drawn behind the sofa on the right, with the former saying, 'The girl I like to draw is short an’ snappy’, and the latter replying, 'I like 'em big an’ bulging’. Boothroyd is walking away from them both, saying 'Disgusting!’ Boothroyd, Virgil and Petrov girls are also in the drawing, along with all the other male cartoonists on the paper (Stan Cross, Frank Dunne, Joe Jonsson and Syd Miller) and their characters. Jonsson’s Mum says to Petrov’s sophisticated (thin, non-bulging) flapper, “Fancy! Eight years between Oigle and this one”, who replies: “I hope it’s not catching”. (NB: Petrov is not in a comparable group drawing of 20 July 1929, 4 – see Virgil Reilly – while 'Driff’ is not in this later one.) According to Blaikie, Petrov specialised in harem scenes made out of dots and bubbles and twirls and loved over-decorated, patterned backgrounds, almost invariably interiors, but examples found by Craig Judd also include sparse Art Deco interiors and exteriors, often with sophisticated ornamental figures (see below).
Petrov regularly contributed to the Bulletin in 1930-33. Examples (all excellent) include: Sisters Under Their Skins (twin dancers, one black one white) 24 May 1930, 9; “Come into my parlor,” said the Spider [sexy woman with jewels] to the Fly [male profile head] 24 May 1930, 22; The Petrov Girl Looks Over A Few Ornaments/ The Necklace 21 June 1930, 17 ; Black White Yellow: The Beast of Burden, The Spoiled Child, The Handmaiden of Man (female racial types – NOT sympathetic to the White) 13 September 1930, 24; “What’s that unseemly commotion outside?”/ “The unemployed, sir. They’re searching for the composer of 'Happy Days Are Here Again’” (waiter in gentleman’s club) 25 October 1930, 11; Brown Sugar (two very decorative negro dancers) 10 January 1931, 18; Cokette (decadent female head) 31 January 1931, 9; Thoroughbreds (female with two old men on leash as dogs), 9 May 1931, 3; (artist’s models in good Deco setting with old joke about not posing for him because he didn’t know where to draw the line) 12 September 1931, 28; King Solomon: “Thank Heaven that’s over!” (coming out of harem guarded by two giant nubian slaves) 23 January 1932, 10; Anyone can have a bridge with all the old iron showing – why couldn’t we have one of concrete with skyscrapers? (moderne architectural drawing) 19 March 1932, 34; (knight in armour and ugly lady with cushion for sitting on his knee) 6 August 1932, 6; “- I can tell that girl’s character by her clothes.”/”- Surely she has more character than that?” 1932; (latest shoe fashions) 21 January 1933, 21; (ugly and beautiful women in identical dresses, the former advising the latter to assist husband wanting to commit suicide) 15 April 1933, 15; GLADYS: “Why did she leave off dieting?”/ BERYL: “Her ribs were too naked when she wore her backless frocks” 1933.
Petrov did dreary drawings of the social scene and fashion illustrations for the Australian Women’s Weekly in 1933 as well as joke cartoons, e.g. “Mummy, do all stories begin with 'Once upon a time’?”/ “No, dear, some of them begin, 'I’ll be detained at the office’ “20 October 1934, 17; cover (woman applying lipstick) 2 March 1935; (cartoon of hectoring bluestocking) LECTURER: What will the modern girl be in 30 years time?/ VOICE: Still about 29! 25 July 1936.
Original 1944 Petrov (watercolour) in Mrs Maguire’s autograph book ML, along with examples by most of Smith’s artists (all coloured and mostly 1930s, apart from Petrov and a Wep dated 1960). A 1948 Petrov original is at PXD 764 (Black and White Artists’ Club?). 'This illustrator and humorous artist for Smith’s and the Guardian , known for his decorative penmanship under the nom-de-plume “Petrov”, was still with Consolidated Press (ACP) in 1964.’
Portraits include Petrov [standing between model and “Driff”]: “Meet my creation, Miss Petrov, who joined the staff while you were away; and there’s more to her than meets the eye.”/ Driff: “Don’t be rude!” ' Smith’s Weekly 5 December 1931. In line-up of portraits by Frank Dunne captioned Seeing’s Believing – “Smith’s” Artists On Parade 30 July 1932, 7, with description:
Next comes PETROV, a gentleman who belies his face appearance. He draws beauty with a single line, and not too much of that. He invented the black brassiere with pink insertions and is still full of ideas.
Good self-portrait with tiny female figures, Smith’s Weekly 15 April 1933, 3 (plus witty but totally uninformative joke biography by Kenneth Slessor, captioned 'Petrov and the women he gavest us’).
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