Warhola, James

Tagged: Art

(1955-    ) American artist, nephew of artist Andy Warhol. After obtaining a BFA from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1977, he moved to New York to pursue work as a commercial artist. He began his career in sf art with a clever cover for a 1982 edition of Philip José Farmer's The Book of Philip José Farmer (coll 1973), showing the author typing on Mars with Edgar Rice Burroughs's Tarzan sitting on his shoulder and strange creatures lurking nearby. A similar cover for the 1987 edition of Roger Zelazny's Unicorn Variations [coll 1983] foregrounded a man playing chess with a unicorn while monsters observe the game. Since such paintings undoubtedly suggested to many that he was best suited to illustrate humorous works, his other assignments have accordingly included a number of Spider Robinson's Callahan books, as well as books by Robert Asprin, Esther M Friesner, and Randall Garrett. Yet Warhola had always been capable of more variegated work, as shown by his atmospheric portrait of a blue figure's shining eyes and nose for the cover of William Gibson's Neuromancer (1984), which earned him a Chesley Award nomination, and some serious-minded covers for republished novels by Robert A Heinlein.

Still, such stimulating assignments were not always available, driving Warhola to do covers for four Battlestar Galactica novels and perhaps inspiring him to seek work elsewhere. Among other projects during the 1980s, he became a regular cover artist for Mad magazine, did original art for the controversial Garbage Pail Kid card series, and most significantly, began to write and illustrate children's books, which by the 1990s had become his main avocation. Perhaps the most interesting of these was Uncle Andy's: A Faabbbulous Visit with Andy Warhol (2003), a story based on his childhood memories of visits to his famous uncle. Its sequel was Uncle Andy's Cats (2009). [GW]

James Warhola

born Smock, Pennsylvania: 16 March 1955

died

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