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Twin Visions

Twin Visions

by Boris Vallejo (Illustrator), Julie Bell

Now in a paperback edition comes Twin Visions, the latest portfolio collection by celebrated husband-and-wife fantasy art team Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell. This unique collection of over 120 fantasy paintings takes us into a magical universe, otherwise visited only in our dreams. In this sumptuous anthology, new fans of Boris and Julie will discover the beauty and


Now in a paperback edition comes Twin Visions, the latest portfolio collection by celebrated husband-and-wife fantasy art team Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell. This unique collection of over 120 fantasy paintings takes us into a magical universe, otherwise visited only in our dreams. In this sumptuous anthology, new fans of Boris and Julie will discover the beauty and sheer wonder of their paintings, while seasoned ones will find much to surprise and delight them. Charged with drama and eroticism, Boris and Julie have created enchanting visions of loveliness and terrifying nightmares side by side, beauty and the beast inhabiting realms of limitless possibility. This edition includes provocative paintings that were originally created for calendars and other commissions, as well as a selection of pictures from earlier in their careers that have never been featured in their books.

Product Details

Running Press Book Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.96(w) x 11.80(h) x 0.44(d)

Read an Excerpt

TWIN visions



Copyright © 2002

Collins & Brown Limited
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1-56025-540-4

Chapter One


What might loosely be called 'Barbarian Fantasy' is the area in which Boris
first became widely famous and it is one to which he still happily returns
whenever the chance comes. He has other interests but this is a natural
territory providing endless scope for exploring his favourite themes, not least
of them the human form honed to perfection. Like the ancient Greek sculptors,
Boris finds the perfected human form a source of endless inspiration as did
William Blake, who constantly returned to the idea that the human form is the
nub of everything, most famously in his
Songs of Innocence:

For Mercy has a human heart,
Pity a human face,
And Love, the human form divine,
And Peace, the human dress.

Then every man, of every clime,
That prays in his distress,
Prays to the human form divine,
Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace.

Many people get uncomfortable when such comparisons are made with modern popular
art such as Boris and Julie's, but this is perhaps a good place to remind them
that Greek sculpture was intended to please the general people, not just an
intellectual elite. Similarly with William Blake who set out to be a popular
balladeer and illustrator rather than a Fine Artist. That he totally failed
during his lifetime was his personal tragedy but he has been triumphantly
vindicated since.

However, we're in danger of straying from the point so let's just say that
in my view it is not pretentious at all to compare modern illustrators with the
great figurative artists and illustrators of the past because that is often
their inspiration and they are carrying the same torch, while Fine Art has taken
off in a wholly different direction. Often very admirable in its own way, but
something quite different.

1991, Boris

Boris once spent several years
concentrating on mainly Greek and
Roman myths till he felt he had
exhausted their potential - not
because he ran out of myths but
because he felt he was beginning to
repeat himself and it was time to
move on. Also he received some
flak for supposed liberties he took:
'Some people criticized the
accuracy of my interpretations, but
to me that is an oxymoron because
how can myths be accurate?
They're not history but imagination.'

1991, Boris

Another picture from one of Boris's
mythology calendars showing the
famous revenging scourges from
Greek legend. This is more how
Boris likes to show women - full of
power and aggression.

1992, Boris

Another variation of the Beauty
and the Beast scenario. Boris mostly
did this picture because he wanted
to paint the model, who was a
friend's secretary. Ironically this
friend was himself a Playboy
photographer who also tried to get
her to pose for his camera, but she
refused. Why she agreed to do it
for Boris remains a slight but
satisfying mystery.

1999, Julie

A symbolic calendar painting which
captures Julie's feeling that
spirituality is as often to be found in
untamed nature as in spiritual art,
represented by the stained glass
window (el vitral in Spanish).

1988, Boris

Boris always enjoys painting people
from different ethnic backgrounds
because it adds to the whole feel of
a painting. He finds though that
there are strangely few female
African Americans interested in
modelling, so he and Julie make the
most of the chances that come
along, as here when these four
subjects came along together. They
all had beautiful physiques, perfect
for this kind of painting. The
rainbow suggested itself as a motif
for racial harmony.

1989, Boris

An African scene from Boris's
world mytholog series, showing
the creation of a human in the
image of the gods. While doing this
series Boris was impressed by the
similar principles underlying the
myths of all cultures.

2000, Julie

This painting was inspired by a
studio photograph of the two
models who conjured this moving
ritualistic dance pose suggesting
some shamanistic ceremony. The
hands in particular suggested the
summoning of some force outside
of themselves, so here in an
atmospheric outdoor setting we
see it taking the form of a third
ethereal female somehow
combining the energies of the other
two. Some two years elapsed
between the original photograph
and the painting.

1990, Boris

This shows the enchantress Medea
from Greek mythology helping
Jason the Argonaut sedate the
dragon guarding the Golden
Fleece. Some people might find his
portrayal of Medea more muscular
than they imagined, certainly this is
not typically how she is shown, but
Boris sees no reason why she
should not be like this. He just likes
to depict people at the height of
physical fitness.

1997, Boris

Most of Boris and Julie's calendars
have no particular theme and offer
the chance to paint just whatever
comes to mind. This picture was
inspired mainly by wanting to do
justice to the model - a
professional bodybuilder in the
physical fitness field. Also by a love
of painting animals. The attraction of
wolves is that they have an
ambivalent relationship with us,
being known both for their
occasional sweet friendliness and
their ferocity. An otherworldly
element is introduced here by
having them materialize out of thin
air, but like true wolves they have
chosen a moment when their prey
is looking the wrong way, despite
being on the alert.

1979, Boris

A poster from the 1970s before
Boris introduced his characteristic
signature with copyright sign and
date, so we've had to guess
the date. A very popular and
characteristic image of the period,
helped maybe by the monster's
exotic mask. The picture prompts
the question: what exactly is going
on here? But it is up to the viewer
to supply an answer; the scene is
not taken from any established

2001, Julie

Cover for a Japanese computer
game. The aim was to create an
illusion of depth with the dwarf
breaking out of the CD case into
our plane of reality. The fey female
is mischievously smiling, not
something that happens often in
Boris and Julie paintings. This is not
because of any lack of humour on
their part, quite the opposite, just
that smiles are rarely called for in
this area of fantasy. Julie's sons
posed for the dwarf and wizard,
after suitable transmogrification!

1988, Boris

Boris: 'This was really just an excuse
to paint four great, lovely women!
The trick with mermaids is to make
their lower body fishlike enough
while keeping a sensual human
quality. To me in any case I enjoy
painting mermaids from time to
time - they're beautiful creatures
and I love painting water.'

1987, Boris

From Boris's zodiac series. Here he
took the naturalism wanted by the
publishers to an extreme by
showing a purely dramatic scene
and using a water-buffalo as the
bull. A very untypical astrological
picture but in a way it does capture
the character of the sign very well.

2000, Julie

A commissioned portrait by the
joint owner of a NewYork art
gallery who wanted to see herself
in a fantasy setting. Often when
illustrating, say, comic book
characters the features of a model
will be exaggerated as much as
necessary to suit the fictional
scenario; but in situations like this
the aim is to get as good a likeness
as possible with the main figure,
then imagination is let loose on the
magical setting.


Excerpted from TWIN visions
Copyright © 2002
by Collins & Brown Limited.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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