Monday, November 16, 2020

Horacio Salinas Blanch - Cover Art for "Super Fiction Collection" 1976 – 1986

Horacio Salinas Blanch - "Downward to the Earth" by Robert Silverberg, 1981"Downward to the Earth" by Robert Silverberg, 1981

 Horacio Salinas Blanch - "The Orchid Cage" by Herbert W. Franke, 1978"The Orchid Cage" by Herbert W. Franke, 1978 

 Horacio Salinas Blanch - The Best of Stanley G. Weinbaum, 1977 The Best of Stanley G. Weinbaum, 1977 

Horacio Salinas Blanch - "Brainrack" by Gerry Davis:Kit Pedler, 1976"Brainrack" by Gerry Davis/Kit Pedler, 1976 

Horacio Salinas Blanch - "Desert of Fog and Ashes" by Joan Trigo, 1978"Desert of Fog and Ashes" by Joan Trigo, 1978 

Horacio Salinas Blanch - The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction,  25th Anniversary Anthology, 1976The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction, 25th Anniversary Anthology, 1976

 Horacio Salinas Blanch - "The Green Brain" by Frank Herbert, 1978"The Green Brain" by Frank Herbert, 1978

 Horacio Salinas Blanch - "The I. Q. Merchant" by John Boyd, 1977"The I. Q. Merchant" by John Boyd, 1977 

Horacio Salinas Blanch - "Our Children's Children" by Clifford D. Simak, 1976"Our Children's Children" by Clifford D. Simak, 1976 

 Horacio Salinas Blanch - "Before the Golden Age" Isaac Asimov, 1976"Before the Golden Age" Isaac Asimov, 1976 


"In 1976, the year after the death of Spanish military dictator Francisco Franco, Barcelona publisher Ediciones Martínez Roca launched its Colección "Super Ficción series—an eclectic collection of science fiction novels—with Los Hijos de Nuestros Hijos, a Spanish translation of Clifford Simak’s Our Children’s Children. Los Hijos de Nuestros Hijos and the titles that initially followed it featured cover art created for UK publisher Penguin’s science fiction series. They were the work of David Pelham, who was then Penguin’s art director, as well as the artist behind many of the company’s most memorable covers (one of the best-known being Penguin’s 1972 re-release of Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange). ""While in the process of commissioning German surrealist "Konrad Klapheck to provide covers for 1974 reissues of several of J.G. Ballard’s early novels, Pelham took it upon himself, at Ballard’s urging, to realize some of the ideas himself, and it was these that Penguin ended up using. 

 For the cover of its edition of Jack Williamson’s The Legion of Space, the ninth release in the series, Ediciones Martínez Roca turned to artist Horacio Salinas Blanch. Over the following decade, Salinas Blanch would produce dozens of covers for Colección "Super Ficción". Although his illustration for La Legión del Espacio was relatively restrained, Salinas Blanch’s work—presumably under the instructions of the publishers—took as its template the airbrushed aesthetic of "Pelham’s Ballard covers, where odd juxtapositions of forms rendered with eerie smoothness hovered in isolation against brooding backgrounds. Salinas Blanch, though, approached the concept through his own otherworldly, idiosyncratic lens: pop culture reimagined as art, reimagined once again as pop culture, a circular transformation of which it seems reasonable to presume Ballard would have approved. Salinas Blanch’s" mixture of airbrushed unreality, pop-art surrealism, and lunatic dreamscapes reads like some crazed cocktail of Pelham and the other artists of the day who were working in a similar visual idiom—names like Peter Haars, Peter Tybus, Heinz Edelmann, Peter Lloyd, Bob Pepper, and Alan Aldridge. 

 No slouch at an inspired rip-off (see his take on Pelham’s cover for Fred Hoyle’s October the First Is Too Late, which Ediciones Martínez Rocahad already used for its cover of a collection of Robert Heinlein’s Lazarus Long stories), Salinas Blanch was not above directly cannibalizing his inspirations, as in this cover art for 1978’s Del Triunfo a la Derrota by Spanish anarchist journalist Jacinto Toryho, where he recycles "Pelham’s Big Boy from the cover of The Terminal Beach, adding a series of powerful details—the low light source, long shadows, and target on the ground. Salinas" Blanch’s other work included cover art for the Spanish translation of Mary Lee Dunn and John Maguire’s book on the Jonestown mass suicide, Hold Hands and Die!, where he offered up a compellingly dreamlike revisitation of an image as famous as it is awful. 

Cynical plagiarist, pragmatic jobbing scribbler, or a genuine visionary? It’s hard to say—practically no information about Horacio Salinas Blanch is to be found outside of his corpus of work: his covers, which inhabit the happy intersection of crowd-pleasing commercial interest and fine art inspiration passed through many hands as in a game of telephone, creating something at once known and strange, like some shared archetypal folk memory. 

It’s one of the great truisms and paradoxes that it’s occasionally imitation—especially imitation of the crassest, most commercially-driven type—that highlights the essence of what makes something engaging, either by contrasting it with an inferior copy or, as in the case of Horacio Salinas Blanch, by reiterating and mutating the source material until a perfect synthesis of what makes it strange and beautiful has been achieved—and until the imitation itself has become something strange and beautiful too." - quote taken from an excellent article on the artist with additional artworks at We Are The Mutants.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Saturday, November 07, 2020

Robert Bloch - H.P Lovecraft Drawings, 1933

Robert Bloch - Untitled Lovecraft Artwork, 1933Untitled Lovecraft Artwork
  Robert Bloch - Dine and Dance, 1933Dine and Dance
  Robert Bloch - Saboth, 1933Saboth
  Robert Bloch - Explorer, 1933Explorer
  Robert Bloch - Untitled Lovecraft Artwork 2, 1933Untitled Lovecraft Artwork
  Robert Bloch - Abdul Alhazred writing the Necronomicon, 1933Abdul Alhazred writing the Necronomicon
  Robert Bloch - The Ghoul, 1933The Ghoul
  Robert Bloch - The Lurking Fear, 1933The Lurking Fear
  Robert Bloch - The Feast, 1933The Feast
  Robert Bloch - The Whisperer in the Darkness, 1933The Whisperer in the Darkness
  Robert Bloch - Yagath, 1933Yagath
  Robert Bloch - Kadath, 1933Kadath
  Robert Bloch - Dream-Thing, 1933Dream-Thing
  Robert Bloch - IÄA. Shub-Niggurath Y'A, 1933IÄA. Shub-Niggurath Y'A 

"During the 1930s, Bloch was an avid reader of the pulp magazine Weird Tales. H. P. Lovecraft, a frequent contributor to that magazine, became one of his favorite writers. As a teenager, Bloch befriended and corresponded with Lovecraft, who gave the promising youngster advice on his own fiction-writing efforts.[1] Bloch's first professional sales, at the age of just seventeen, were to Weird Tales with the short stories "The Feast in the Abbey" and "The Secret in the Tomb". Bloch's early stories were strongly influenced by Lovecraft, and a number of his stories were set in, and extended, the world of Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos. It was Bloch who invented, for example, the oft-cited Mythos texts De Vermis Mysteriis and Cultes des Goules.
The young Bloch even appears, thinly disguised, as the character "Robert Blake" in Lovecraft's story "The Haunter of the Dark", which is dedicated to Bloch. In this story, Lovecraft kills off the Bloch character, repaying a courtesy Bloch paid Lovecraft with his tale "The Shambler from the Stars", in which the Lovecraft-inspired figure dies; the story goes so far as to use Bloch's then-current street address in Milwaukee. (Bloch even had a signed certificate from Lovecraft [and some of his creations] giving Bloch permission to kill Lovecraft off in a story.) Bloch later wrote a third tale, "The Shadow From the Steeple", picking up where "The Haunter of the Dark" finished.
After Lovecraft's death in 1937, Bloch continued writing for Weird Tales, where he became one of its most popular authors. He also began contributing to other pulps, such as the science fiction magazine Amazing Stories. He gradually evolved away from Lovecraftian imitations towards a unique style of his own. One of the first distinctly "Blochian" stories was "Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper", which was published in Weird Tales in 1943. The story was Bloch's take on the Jack the Ripper legend, and was filled out with more genuine factual details of the case than many other fictional treatments.[2] Bloch followed up this story with a number of others in a similar vein dealing with half-historic, half-legendary figures such as the Man in the Iron Mask ("Iron Mask", 1944), the Marquis de Sade ("The Skull of the Marquis de Sade", 1945) and Lizzie Borden ("Lizzie Borden Took an Axe...", 1946)." - quote source

Artworks found at the Brown University Library.

Another artwork from Robert Bloch was previously shared here.

Friday, November 06, 2020

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (1885 - 1939)

Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz - Azot, Fosfór i Arsen (z cyklu kompozycji chemicznych) (tech. mieszana), 1918Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Arsenic (from the cycle of chemical compositions) 

 Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz - Leo and Hercules, 1918Leo and Hercules, 1918 

Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz - Fantastic Composition (Vision with masks), 1920Fantastic Composition (Vision with masks), 1920 

Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz - Green Eye Composition, 1918Green Eye Composition, 1918

 Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz - Composition 1922Composition 1922

 Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz - The Gravedigger's MonologueThe Gravedigger's Monologue 

Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz - Fight, 1921-22Fight, 1921-22 

Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz - Creating the World, 1921-22Creating the World, 1921-22 

Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz - Satan, 1920Satan, 1920 

Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz - Marysia and Burek in Ceylon, 1920-21Marysia and Burek in Ceylon, 1920-21 

Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz - Story, 1922Story, 1922 

 Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz - Capricornus, 1918Capricornus, 1918 


 "A struggle between nonsensical and indescribable things. A row of chambers turned into an underground circus. Strange beasts appeared in the loges. The crowd was a mixed bag, an audience half-animal, half-human. The loges turned into bathtubs, connected to urinals in the Mexican or Aztec style. A sense at times of two layers of visibility: the images in the depths were chiefly black and white, while the background had putrid red and dirty lemon-yellow diagonal stripes. The majority of the visions had beasts of land and sea and horrible human faces. Giraffes whose necks and heads turned into snakes growing out of their bodies. A ram with a flamingo nose hung with pink guts. Indian cobras slithered out of the ram, then the whole thing crumbled into a mass of snakes." - quote excerpt from the artist describing tripping on peyote, read more here.


"Shortly after Poland was invaded by Germany in September 1939, Witkiewicz escaped with his young lover Czesława to the rural frontier town of Jeziory, in what was then eastern Poland. After hearing the news of the Soviet invasion of Poland on 17 September 1939, Witkacy committed suicide on 18 September by taking a drug overdose and trying to slit his wrists. He convinced Czesława to attempt suicide with him by consuming Luminal, but she survived. The film Mystification 2010, written and directed by Jacek Koprowicz proposed that Witkiewicz faked his own death and lived secretly in Poland until 1968."  - quote from biography on the artist found at Wikipedia.