Illustration Art Gallery

The very best from the wide, sometimes overlooked, world of illustration art, including original artwork for book illustrations and covers, comic books and comic strips, graphic novels, magazines, film animation cels, newspaper strips, poster art, album covers, plus superb fine art reproductions and high quality art prints.

Our gallery brings together artists from all over the world and from many backgrounds, including fantasy, horror, romance, science fiction, education, sport, history, nature, technology, humour, glamour, architecture, film & tv, whimsy, even political satire and caricature.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Olivia (Olivia De Bernardinis)

Olivia has described herself as "a painter of women, sexualized, surreal women. People always ask me how I got into the business. What they really want to know is why I am such an anomaly, Which I'm not ... I think its strange that women aren't known for this genre, since it is ours to know."

Her first book was introduced by Hugh Hefner, who noted, "Male artists tend to do the predictable in erotica. Olivia surprises. She works with patterns — from the natural to the quasi-natural, from the intricate traceries of lingerie to the startling lines of a tattoo. None of the women in this collection are simply nude: They are contained by lace, by metal, by satin, by leather. Beneath the designs, beneath the artifice is the feminine form."

Born in Long Beach, California, on 29 November 1948, Olivia Amanda De Bernardinis grew up primarily on the the east coast. She began drawing at the age of three or four, developing an early interest in drawing a Barbie-like character based, she says, on her mother. After attending the New York School of Visual Arts (1968-70), she worked at numerous bars and clubs as a waitress or barmaid whilst she began producing artwork — minimalist designs, some of which were exhibited at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in the early 1970s.

From around 1974, she began drawing for adult magazines and established herself as a leading erotic artist, publishing the first of numerous portfolios and illustrations for Playboy in 1984. She married Joel Beren in 1979, a photographer who also acts of agent for Olivia's paintings, which were sold and licensed through their own companies O Card Company and Ozone Productions. They moved to Malibu, California, in 1987, where they continue to live and work.

Olivia's books have included Let Them Eat Cheesecake: The Art of Olivia (1993), Second Slice: The Art of Olivia II (1997), Cheesecake Chronicles Vol. 1 (2000), American Geisha: The Art of Olivia III (2003), Bettie Page by Olivia (2006) and Malibu Cheesecake (2011). As well as producing prints, calendars and note cards, she recently collaborated on a limited edition print which featured a poem by Neil Gaiman.

Artwork by Olivia can be found for sale at the Illustration Art Gallery.

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