The King Kong of Horror Art
Interview by R.S. Rhine
Photos of Basil Gogos by Luigi Novi
Art reprints courtesy of YARGER | STRAUSS Contemporary
G&C: Basil, you are world renowned for illustrating the iconic covers of Famous Monsters of Filmland Magazine. Your dazzling paintings of Lon Chaney, Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, and many others in their classic film roles as Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, Creature From The Black Lagoon, The Mummy, Phantom of The Opera, and Godzilla have placed you at the pinnacle of horror artists. Were you praised and encouraged to do horror art by your friends and family or did they wonder why you weren’t painting flowers and fruit bowls?
BG: Well, monsters were never part of my vocabulary when I started out as an illustrator. I loved the movies but I never painted a monster. But being an illustrator, I got all kinds of jobs, and then along came a monster, which was issue nine of Famous Monsters Magazine (in 1960), and it of was of Vincent Price, the House of Usher. Famous Monsters Magazine publisher Jim Warren wanted something weird-looking something psychedelic and I didn’t know if I could do it...
To read the rest of this interview, Order this issue here.