victor gadino

Victor Gadino

victor gadino
Victor Gadino

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.

victor gadino cover art

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.

romance novel cover artist gadino

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 the 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 romance the lord won't mind

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.

 victor gadino art prisoner of my desire
Prisoner of My Desire, Johanna Lindsey
(I love the horse in the background!)

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.”

victor gadino cover art

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 for the Bradford Exchange and Franklin Mint.

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.

romance novel cover artist victor gadino art
“Convoy” Movie Poster, Victor Gadino

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.

victor gadino art
“Dawn.” The Advocate Magazine, Gadino

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.

Victor Gadino Book Covers

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