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This Hallowe’en, go for Gogos.

October 29, 2009

The Night of Horrors approaches: the days are growing shorter, the winds wilder and the shadows longer.  Hallowe’en is based on the Irish festival of Oíche Shamhna. These days it’s known as Hallowe’en (Holy Evening) the evening before All Souls Day. Irish mythology is well imbued with horrific tales, including the Bean Sí (Banshee) who gets her kicks by sitting on the roofs of houses combing her long hair, knocking on the windows of children at night and, should they answer the knocks and open the window, stealing them away. Jack O’Lanterns (carved pumpkins) were originally carved out of turnips and look creepier when the light is flickering away inside. They shrivel up with age to resemble shrunken heads.

With such a terrifying background, it’s only natural that I should look Hallowe’en artists at this time of year. Today I’ll be talking about Basil Gogos.

Greek-born and American-educated,  (several art schools including in the Art Students League of New York where he studied under Frank J. Reilly) Gogos broke into the illustration field by winning a competition for Pocket Books. His work has been mostly for mens’ adventure magazines, but he is best known for his work for Warren Publishing.

Here we get to the fun part.

His works for Warren were for the covers of a magazine named ‘Famous Monsters of Filmland’. It looks like it sounds- his works for the publication are all of famous monsters and became iconic. You’ve probably seen some of them before.  He gave us the infamous Christopher Lee as Dracula (below)

Basil Gogos, Christopher Lee as Dracula from "Horror of Dracula". 1994.

Not to mention Frankenstein’s monster:

Basil Gogos, Frankenstein's Monster.

 

Lon Chaney as he’s never been seen before:

Lon Chaney, London at Midnight.

 

Technique:

Most of Gogos’ pieces are acrylic on paper. You’ll see a good deal of his works from the 90s, most of the mens’ magazine pieces are from the 60s and the 70s. The monster pieces came much later.

The good news? You can buy your own Gogos!

That’s right. Here you go.

If you’re gaga for Gogos, you can obtain a collection of his work on Amazon- ‘Famous Monster Movie Art of Basil Gogos’. Go..go!

(No monsters were hurt in the making of this pun.)

 

 

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