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Boris Vallejo is a very popular fantasy artist in the vein of Frank Frazetta whose work has had an enormous influence on the fantasy artwork of today whether it is in the gaming area of fantasy oriented films like “300” or “Lord of the Rings”. I came into possesion of a Vallejo book somewhere back in the late 70’s and was blown away. There are few artists that can match his creativity and execution in the fantasy area.
Boris Vallejo (born January 8, 1941 is a Peruvian-born American painter. He immigrated to the United States in 1964, and he currently resides in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He frequently works with Julie Bell, his wife, painter, and model.
Vallejo works almost exclusively in the fantasy and erotica genres. His hyper-representational paintings have graced the covers of dozens of science fiction paperbacks and are featured in a series of best-selling glossy calendars. Subjects of his paintings are typically Sword and sorcery gods, monsters, and well-muscled male and female barbarians engaged in battle. Some of his male figures were modeled by Vallejo himself, and many of his later female characters were modeled by his wife. His latest works still retain heavy fantasy elements, but lean more towards the erotic rather than pure fantasy themes.
Vallejo commenced painting at the age of thirteen and had his first illustration job at the age of sixteen. After emigrating to the United States in 1964, he quickly garnered a fan following from his illustrations of Tarzan, Conan The Barbarian, Doc Savage and various other fantasy characters (often done for paperback fiction works featuring the characters). This led to commissions for movie poster illustration, advertisement illustration, and artwork for various collectibles – including Franklin Mint paraphernalia, trading cards and sculpture. Along with Bell, Vallejo presents his artwork in an annual calendar and various books. Vallejo’s work is often compared to the work of Frank Frazetta, not only because it is similar stylistically but also since Frazetta painted covers for paperbacks of some of the same characters.
Vallejo’s preferred artistic medium is oil paint on board, and has previously used digital media to combine discrete images to form composite images. Preparatory works are pencil or ink sketches, which have been displayed in the book Sketchbook. He and Julie Bell have worked on collaborative artworks together, in which they sign the artwork with both names.
Vallejo has created film posters for numerous fantasy and action productions, including Barbarella (1968), Knightriders (1981), Q (1982), and Barbarian Queen (1985). He has also illustrated posters for comedies, notably National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983), European Vacation (1985), and Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters (2007), co-created with Bell.