Victor Gadino

Victor Gadino

The King of Stepback Covers

Education and Early Work

Victor Gadino is an award-winning artist. He holds a Masters of Fine Arts degree from the elite Pratt Institute. Gadino has worked for forty years in the art industry.

Much of his art has appeared in promotions for elite clients in the corporate, publishing, and entertainment fields. Some include Sony; American Express; General Foods; Playboy; Hearst; Random House; Harper Collins; NBC; Time Warner; Paramount; United Artists; MGM, Lucas Films; Disney; and Universal Studios.

An Artist of Eroticism

Victor Gadino’s big break in cover art illustration came through Avon’s Gordon Merrick gay romantic series. The first book was The Lord Won’t Mind. These controversial images showed Gadino’s knack for kitschy yet sensual paintings.

the lord won't mind

Although he had been designing romance covers for many years, Gadino can trace his rise to prominence as a highly sought-out romance illustrator to Johanna’s Lindsey’s 1991 Prisoner of My Desire. Elaine Duillo had been her regular cover illustrator, and although this was just a one-off occurrence, Gadino’s artwork was immediately appreciated by fans.

prisoner of my desire
Prisoner of My Desire, Johanna Lindsey

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 are defined by exquisite attention to detail, whether it be the hero’s muscled abs or the heroine’s beautiful gown and flowing hair. Many of his covers have been designed as step-backs, with a “respectable”-looking front, that when opened, reveals a beautiful illustration inside making. Some in the industry consider Gadino the unofficial “King of the Step-backs.”

Recognition and Current Work

Special achievements he has received in his lifetime include an award from The Hollywood Reporter for his work on prominent movie posters. He gained the second place drawing award 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.

His work has been featured in many prestigious publications, including: 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.

Where Is Gadino Now?

Victor Gadino is still incredibly active in the art field. He now works digitally to design covers. Gadino also accepts portrait commissions, and 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 wonderful work, which one can view on his website.

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