The King of Stepback Covers
Victor Gadino, A Master Artist
Victor Gadino is a legendary artist of sensual and erotic images. He is one of the top romance novel cover artists of all time. Gadino has created hundreds of beautiful and sensual covers.
Victor Gadino’s amazing stepbacks make him one of Sweet Savage Flame’s favorite illustrators.
Education and Early Work
Victor Gadino hails from the New York City area. He has worked for forty years in the art industry. He is an award-winning painter with a Master of Fine Arts degree from the elite Pratt Institute.
Many of his creations have appeared in projects for elite clients in the corporate, publishing, and entertainment fields.
Gadino has worked with numerous large and distinguished companies, including Sony, American Express, General Foods, Playboy, Hearst, Random House, and Harper Collins.
He has also created art for the following media corporations: NBC; Time Warner, Paramount, United Artists; MGM, Lucas Films; Disney; and Universal Studios.
Gadino’s Success With Gordon Merrick’s Books
Victor Gadino’s big break in book illustration came in the late 1970s when he designed romantic-styled covers for gay fiction. Avon publishers reissued Gordon Merrick’s backlist, which Merrick had written almost a decade prior.
The first book Gadino worked on was An Idol For Others. After that, he created cover art for the popular romantic series about Peter and Charlie. The Lord Won’t Mind portrayed two men gazing at each other, with their hands about to touch.
These controversial images showed Gadino’s keen aptitude for “kitschy” yet erotic paintings.
The revolutionary Merrick covers catapulted Gadino to the forefront of New York’s art scene.
Victor Gadino, A Natural For Sensual Romance
Gadino had been designing romance covers for many years. Then in 1991, Gadino’s rise to prominence in the genre came with Johanna Lindsey’s Prisoner of My Desire. This cover would make him a highly sought-out romance illustrator.
Since 1987 Elaine Duillo had been Lindsey’s illustrator, so this would be just a one-off occurrence. Nevertheless, fans appreciated Gadino’s stunning artwork.
Gadino would design incredible-looking covers for authors such as Rosemary Rogers, Shannon Drake (aka Heather Graham), Betina Krahn, Virginia Henley, Catherine Coulter, and Sandra Hill.
His works have exquisite attention to detail. Gadino is a maestro at design. Whether it’s the hero’s muscled abs or the heroine’s beautiful gown, or flowing hair, his style is impeccable.
Many of his covers are stepbacks, with a “respectable-looking” outer appearance. When opened, the covers reveal beautiful illustrations inside.
Gadino was so prolific with this design that some in the industry would consider Gadino the unofficial “King of the Stepbacks.”
Recognition and Current Work
Among notable achievements Gadino has received in his lifetime include an award from The Hollywood Reporter for his work on prominent movie posters. He almost garnered the top honors in the Art Renewal Center’s 2009 Annual International Competition.
Gadino has created album covers for various artists, posters for Broadway plays, and collectibles plates for the Bradford Exchange and Franklin Mint featuring scenes from major motion pictures.
Many prestigious publications have shown his work. They include: Communication Art’s “Illustration Annual 50,” for which he won an Award of Excellence; “Society of Illustrators Annual 43”; “Direct Art Magazine Volume 14: Aphrodisia II – The Art of the Female Form”; “Treasures from the Permanent Collection of the Leslie Lohman Foundation” – All Saints Press; “Powerfully Beautiful” – Firehouse Studio Publication; “Dirty Little Drawings”; and “Stripped,” published by Bruno Gmunder.
Victor Gadino and His Art Today
Gadino is still incredibly active in the art field. He now works digitally to design images as a romance novel cover artist.
Gadino also accepts portrait commissions. One can find his work in the collections of celebrities such as George Lucas, Clint Eastwood, and many prominent New York City families.
He lives in New York and continues to design artwork for books, films, and advertisements.
Besides creating new portraits, he sells giclee reproductions of his outstanding work, which one can view on his website.