Showing posts with label John Berkey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label John Berkey. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Random Late Night Wall-Eizing

Wall-E is, in a word, freaking amazing. Might just be my favorite Pixar movie yet.

Among many other things, it reminded me of a series of Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction covers by Mel Hunter. Both portray a humorous attempt to understand humanity by the objects we surround ourselves with and the heartbreaking ways in which those objects fall short in describing who we are.

As usual with Pixar, I have a hard time deciding which I like better, the movie or the concept work. I'm glad I don't have to decide - I loved the movie so much I ran straight to the bookstore to pick up The Art of Wall-E.

Over on the Spectrum website, Arnie Fenner asks whether Wall-E's Axiom space craft was an homage to John Berkey. Looking at the concept drawings, (insert to the left) leaves little doubt.

[Thanks to for the Mel Hunter images.]

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tributes to John Berkey

I'll keep this updated as best I can.

Easily one of the most gifted illustrators of the 20th Century and an influential giant in the SF art world.

The man who proved that science fiction could be fine art.

Bob Eggleton
Some of my first exposure to fantastical art was from his hand.

Paul Barnett
He was one of the most painterly of sf artists, and managed to convey both splendour and strangeness with a power and sense of wonder that it's hard to describe.

John Picacio

I'm definitely one of the legions who revere his work, which I believe is more influential now than it's ever been.

Eat Our Brains
He was a major influence for both traditional and digital artists.

Jason Bennion
Berkey's work was more impressionistic than realistic, but one of the things it always conveyed was a true sense of mass.

Scott Anderson
Bravura brushstrokes filled with confidence and vitality, whole worlds summoned into being with the most economical means.

Fickr set by Michael Heilemann
Moving Walls
Stainless Steel droppings

John Berkey

John Berkey passed away yesterday.

This is truly heartbreaking. He was one of the first artists I worked with when I came to Tor. Although poor health kept him from much new work over the past many years, his paintings are still as fresh and relevant today as ever. John was honored with Spectrum Grand Master award, Society of Illustrator’s Hall of Fame, and Expose Grand Master. The last is almost ironic, since John was known for never having touched a computer, but then, his influence on today’s digital artists is unmistakable. He was all the more amazing that he was able to create the images he did in physical's as if the art wolrd has just now caught u with him.

“Being fearful of failure or having little confidence just becomes something to climb over.” -- John Berkey

"[John Berkey's] signature style is one of vigorously applied brushstrokes -- never labored -- that in a series of strategically placed dots and dashes, form images so vivid and so credible that they seem to go beyond photographic reality, and yet the artist's hand is always present. We look at these illustrations and know that they are paintings -- they are not photographs -- and, more importantly, that they are art." -- Vincent di Fate’s speech for John’s Society of Illustrator’s Hall of Fame induction. The full essay is reprinted in Illustrators 46.

“There is a type of majesty to his canvases; his cityscape spacecraft have a certain dignity, almost a sense of nobility, not unlike the ailing vessels of a lost age.” -- Arnie Fenner in his Grand Master essay from Spectrum 6

Monday, March 03, 2008

Richard Powers: Hall of Fame

I think John Picacio is the first to praise the Science Fiction Hall of Fame for selecting Richard Powers as their next artist Hall of Famer. If I weren't so busy at the moment, I too would be saying how awesome this is.

(Hurray to John, who is always quick to point out the importance of past artists on today’s field.)

Here is David Hartwell -- Tor editor, art collector, and long time friend of Powers, with a personal essay.

And here is the Powers Compendium -- a fantastic collection of Powers covers. (But leave plenty of time for browsing it without any thumbnails to help guide your way.)


Bob Eggleton reminded me of Jane Frank's book, The Art of Richard Powers.

(And hurray to Jane for keeping artists like Powers and John Berkey in the bookstores and in the minds of today's painters and fans.)