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Vallejo in April 2005
January 8, 1941 |
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.
Vallejo began painting at the age of 13, in 1954, and had his first illustration job three years later, in 1957, at the age of 16. He attended the Escuela Nacional Superior Autónoma de Bellas Artes on a five-year scholarship, and was awarded a prize medal. After emigrating to the United States in 1964, at the age of 23, 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 watered down acrylic on board, and has previously used photographs 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 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. He created the 1978 Tarzan calendar.
Vallejo's published works include several collections.
- Imaginistix (2006)
- The Fabulous Women of Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell (2006)
- Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell: The Ultimate Collection (2005)
- Twin Visions (2002)
- Titans (aka Superheroes): The Heroic Visions of Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell
- Fantasy Workshop
- Dreams: The Art of Boris Vallejo (1999)
- Fantasy Art Techniques (1985)
- Mirage (1982, reprinted 1996 & 2001)
- The Fantastic Art of Boris Vallejo (1980)
A yearly calendar of 13 paintings by Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell is produced by Workman Publishing.
- Comics Buyer's Guide #1650; February 2009; page 107.
- Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Archived from the original on October 30, 2010.
- Boing Boing.
- Sackmann, E. Great Masters of Fantasy Art Taco 1986 p.34 ISBN 3892680086
- "King of the Mountain - Posterwire.com".
- "Julie Bell & Boris Vallejo". Imaginstix.com. Retrieved from http://www.imaginistix.com/details.cfm?Id=577.