Halloween Count-down: The art of Basil Gogos
Basil Gogos – During the 1960s, Gogos provided a steady stream of illustrations for a variety of New York-based publications. The majority of his work during this period was for men’s adventure magazines for which he painted scenes of World War II battles, jungle perils and crime as well as cheesecake portraits of beautiful women. However, Gogos’ greatest impact as an illustrator was the work he did for Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine. The magazine’s covers were usually eye-catching close-ups of horror movie characters that had become popular again with their re-release on TV. Gogos first cover featured an impressionistic portrait of Vincent Price from House of Usher painted in shades of red, yellow and green. Over the next two decades, he created almost 50 covers for Famous Monsters, many of which have become iconic images of that period.
In the late 1970s, Gogos gave up full time commercial illustration to devote himself more to his original goal of doing fine art. He produced personal art pieces in watercolor and other media, while earning his livelihood as a photo retoucher in the ad department of United Artists. While there, he also did occasional illustrations for movie posters. Gogos later moved into advertising where he produced presentation sketches and storyboards for commercials for a major ad agency.
Due to a resurgence of interest in classic horror films and collectibles, Gogos returned to the horror genre in the 1990s. During this time, new Gogos monster portraits appeared on trading cards, lithographs and the covers of Monsterscene magazine. He has also painted CD covers for rock stars Rob Zombie and The Misfits.