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When I saw that second cover with the raggedly applied paint, the swooping linear accents, and the colourful little shapes fluttering along the edges of the forms, I immediately was reminded of certain works by Bill Sienkiewicz and by his teacher/mentor, Barron Storey. Like this well-known cover, for instance:
But would either Sienkiewicz or Storey recognize Powers as an influence? I have no idea…
The Powers Compendium — the images are tiny, but there sure are a lot of them! I see that the Compendium site also includes that same little scan of the wraparound Brain Wave cover.
8 thoughts on “Look Here: Two SF covers, with art by Richard Powers”
I think Bill’s primary influences, besides Barron Storey, are Neal Adams (figures), Bob Peak (design), Ralph Steadman (visceral use of spattering), Gustav Klimt (esoteric symbols/shapes, such as the repetition of small triangles in the above image) and Egon Schiele (expressionistic shapes in figures/surrounding forms).
That’s a pretty good list, Chris… as far as it goes…
In this interview from 17 July 2001 , for instance, Sienkiewicz extends his personal list of influences beyond Adams, Peak, Steadman, Klimt, and Schiele, and sensibly leaves open the possibility of incorporating new influences into his art as time goes by:
Truth be told, I never noticed the Diebenkorn influence in Sienkiewicz’s art before he mentioned it. But I do see it now.
BTW, turns out that Bill Sienkiewicz is listed as a participant in the forthcoming documentary on the life and choices of Jeffrey Catherine Jones. Does this mean we’ll have to add Jones to Sienkiewicz’s list of influences? Guess we’ll find out if and when the documentary is completed.
(I do know that Sienkiewicz and Jones both contributed images to a portfolio called “The Strength of Man,” published by Blackthorne Publishing, Inc., but to my eye, there was very little in their styles at the time to suggest any cross-pollination.)
I meant to cite Jones, but forgot after mentioning Klimt, also one of Jones’ heroes. Bill’s signature is clearly derived from Jones’ (the “J” with the dot in the middle, enclosed in a box).
True enough. I had forgotten about that. But is Sienkiewicz still using that signature? I thought it was just a phase he went through…
But now I’m curious, Chris: aside from the signature, and the effort to break from traditional controlled comic-book inking (which in Siekiewicz’s case, seems to me to have been more about Steadman and Schiele than Jones), what is it, specifically, that you see in Sienkiewicz’s art that betrays a Jones influence? Make the case for me.
Though Sienkiewicz started out modelling his human figures after Neal Adams’ work, I’d say he later looked to Jeff Jones as an example of more naturalistic figure drawing, both in pencil and ink pen-and-ink. I’d say Jones’ loose inks and occasional spatter in “I’m Age” probably come closest in appearance to Bill’s work. But the easiest way to find out is to simply ask him; Bill’s email addy is on his website.
Sorry, I just don’t see it.