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


Unknown said...

This is incredibly sad news. Looking at his work through the years I'm struck by how consistantly fresh his work seems as though he will always be a couple of steps into the future.

James Williams said...

That is too bad- he was an excellent artist.

One thing I have wondered since the omnibus edition of "Tales of the Dying Earth" came out was how the cover art was picked for that book. I think the illustration was excellent, but something of an odd choice for that work. (I realize that there are budget/time constraints in publishing, and that particular book would present a challenge to find matching cover art.)

Carl V. Anderson said...

I feel so awful. I've been so overwhelmed that I haven't been by here in a few and to scroll down to read this is a real disappointment. John Berkey is one of the very first science fiction book illustrators I recall as a young man whose work caught my eye and help draw me into the genre. I have always treasured his work and by extension him and was thrilled to do a tribute post to both him and John Harris. Both of their work epitomize science fiction for me. I hate to think that so many of my very favorite illustrators are getting older and with each one there will be the sorrow of knowing that their unique vision and spark is no longer in this world. Thank you for the nice tribute and I am sorry.

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