Thursday, 23 September 2010

Alessandro Biffignandi's Pocket Library Paintings


Rome  based artist Alessandro Biffignandi moved away from illustration in the early 1980's to concentrate on oil painting, but by then he's said as much as he'd wanted to say in terms of commercial art. His output for the Fleetway pocket libraries was just astonishing and as his work matured his style developed this beautiful very loose brush work where he seemed to sculpt the forms that he was depicting.

Here's some examples of those early years for Fleetway (we're talking here early '60's) with some of the war pocket library covers that didn't make it into the two recent Carlton books.

7 comments:

  1. I remember being absolutely knocked out by his eerily lit close-up of the Spider on the cover of Fleetway's Super library no.4, back when it was almost unheard of to see fully painted images of American-style superheroes. I completely agree about the sculptural quality of his brushstrokes as it is sometimes the only thing which distinguishes his paintings for me from the work of Fleetway's other, equally brilliant cover artists.

    That fourth image is particularly historic by the way in that it's the only issue of Battle Picture Library I know of that combines a Spanish cover with a British script (by Donne Avenell) and American art (by holidaying EC veteran John Severin).

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  2. I also reccomend the covers of "Hazañas Belicas", a Spanish publication of the fifties, by Jorge Longaron.

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  3. Many thanks Oscar and Phil, for your illuminating comments.

    In fact I'm going to check out "Hazañas Belicas right now!

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  4. That's great stuff. Thanks for posting this.

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  5. Here's a cover painting by Biffignandi and another Italian veteran artist; Germano Ferri
    http://www.schapter.org/wiki/Fantomen_21/2010 (this Swedish Phantom issue will be released on September 30th). As I understand, it is a mixed media work combining a regular painting and some computer touches.

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  6. Many thanks Andreas - weird but lovely piece of work.

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  7. Hey... amazing covers!! I was very fortunate to buy an original Biffignandi War Picture Library (#118) cover off of ebay for 99£, which I thought was quite reasonable. I'm really interested in finding some more... can you suggest a dealer who might have more of these?

    I've been loving all the covers you've been psoting - painting in gouache is something of a lost art!

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