Friday, October 25, 2013

Arty Farty Friday ~ Fred Marcellino

Fred Marcellino, abstract impressionist painter, illustrator/designer of album and book cover art, children's book illustrator and and writer, was born this day, 25 October in 1939 in Brooklyn, New York; died in 2001 - far too soon, aged 61.

He changed the way book covers and jackets for contemporary fiction are designed.

From Obituary here

"In the 1970's Mr. Marcellino, a classically trained painter and recipient of a 1963 Fulbright scholarship, challenged the strict marketing conventions for packaging fiction and nonfiction blockbusters, which then required gigantic type for the author's name and a small, literal illustration of the plot or theme. Although these covers grabbed attention, they usually offered little aesthetic value.

Mr. Marcellino introduced subtly painted and smartly lettered miniposters, creating an alluring graphic personality for best-selling novels by writers like Tom Wolfe, Anne Tyler, Milan Kundera, Judith Rossner and Margaret Atwood. He proved that an elegant jacket could be as effective a marketing tool as a garish one.

Mr. Marcellino could "in one image, translate the whole feeling and style of a book,'' said Nan Talese, who was the editor of Judith Rossner's ''August'' and Margaret Atwood's ''Handmaid's Tale'' for Houghton Mifflin."

A few examples of his book cover illustrations:

Some of his children's book covers and illustrations:

A quick look at Mr Marcellino's natal chart, set for 12 noon as no birth time is available.

Five, maybe six depending on Moon's position (which isn't known precisely without a time of birth)
are in Mars-ruled signs: Scorpio and Aries. This indicates an energetic, enthusiastic and passionate nature, a blend of impatience, impetuosity and an urge to dig deep into issues. The only personal planet outside of the Mars-ruled group is Mars itself in Aquarius.

Outer planets were in Taurus, Leo and Virgo.

Uranus (planet of the avant garde) in Taurus lay opposite Venus and Mercury in Scorpio. Venus being planet of arts, Taurus its ruler. Hmmm. I think that here was a need to bring something new (Uranus) to "tried and true" style (Taurus), via design (Venus). Exactly what this artist did for book covers.

Fred Marcellino's official website.


mike said...

I've read several books that he cover illustrated, but had never taken the time to know who he was! I did a quick look on the net to see how many of Anne Tyler's books he least the one you provide...I'll have to check later for more information.

I came across this quote of his:
“I love to see my work in book and record stores, because then it doesn’t belong to me anymore and I can begin to judge it on its own merits.”
Is this indicative of his Saturn-Nodes-Sun?!

BTW, Pulitzer Prize winner Anne Tyler's writing is excellent...I luv her books. She made Oprah's top suggested summer reading for "Ladder of Years", which is one my favorites.

mike (again) said...

This is a weird quinkydink...I just started reading my local 2 always has the birthdays of the famous. Author Anne Tyler is 72 today!

Twilight said...

mike ~ The only one I'm sure I've read is "A Handmaid's Tale". My copy has FM's illustration on the cover, there are several different ones by other authors). when I first saw the illustration it made no sense at all, but after reading the book, I realised the cover illustration had just the right "feel".

Of the others, though I've seen either a TV drama or film of "Bonfire of the Vanities", I don't think I ever read the book - if I did, it mustn't have made much of an impression.

Same goes for "The Unbearable Lightness of Being".

His Moon's nodes are both conjoined to something important - Sun and Saturn - that must surely reflect something - as you pointed out.

That's a very oddly quinky quinkydink re Anne Tyler. I haven't read any of her books so far. I'll make a point of finding one to try. I don't always get on too well with female authors, but anyjazz usually says he prefers them.