Although his work in animation has always been highly regarded - from the great Disney films of the1950's to the Iron Giant - Victor Haboush has not been widely known as a serious painter. He has rarely been willing to list his paintings for sale. His career as a Commercial Director was so labor-intensive that it left him little time to both paint and exhibit. Victor has spent decades painting for the sheer love of the complex - beautiful medium and the unbounded creativity it affords.
Haboush had always intended to be painter. After World War II, he enrolled at Art Center, in Pasadena, where he was a student of Lorser Feitelsen. After he left Art Center, he continued to study privately with Feitelsen for the next fifteen years. And they remained close friends, until Feitelsen’s death. But marriage and children intervened, and he accepted an offer from Disney Studios.
In Feitelsen’s class at Art Center, Haboush met Eyvind Earle, who became another life-long friend, and with whom he collaborated at Disney Studios. Reminiscing about that time, Earle says that “every painting [the 23 year-old Victor] started was a masterpiece the first half hour, and then started going downhill. . . . He became my closest friend.”
Haboush and Earle also worked with Tom Oreb, and the three of them were part of the team that won an academy award for the 1953 animated film, Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom. Feitelsen and Earle continued their friendship with one another, as well as Haboush, and did their best to keep Haboush painting, always asking about his latest work. In his autobiography, Earle says that the few individuals [at Disney’s] who actually were artists first and Disney artists second, were very few. . . . Victor Haboush is a real artist even though he seldom paints any paintings except in his spare time, maybe once or twice a year.
At the age of eighty, Haboush is on a tear, hell-bent to fulfill the promise he manifested sixty years ago. His zaftig ladies show the Feitelsen influence. His groupings of jazz musicians show the Oreb influence, resounding from their canvases in cutting contests that seem audible; and his low-life characters might have been conceived by George Grosz, if that artist had lived in a softer, less threatening time. But Haboush is very much his own man. From zany crows taking over the world, to trees that evolved from his original drawings and compositions in Sleeping Beauty-- which Earle rated “among the finest work done on the picture--” Haboush is fresh and humorous, as well as insightful.
Haboush has finally put a limited number of paintings and lithographs up for sale. They may be viewed at www.aries-gallery.com/haboushpg.htm
Aries Gallery: 4222 West Burbank Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505 - 818.846.0611