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BOOKS: Three art books you need for your coffee table

If your coffee table has been looking sparse of late, look no further than one of these three art collections from Titan Books

 

The Art of Robert E. McGinnis by Robert E. McGinnis and Art Scott

Robert McGinnis also worked on movie posters, most memorably those for Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Barbarella and a handful for the James Bond franchise (including one of its very best, the improbable but gorgeous pile up of Live and Let Die, Roger Moore surrounded by Tarot cards, while a speedboat bursts from an alligator’s mouth). His main body of work though was for book covers, a field he has worked in since the late fifties.

Most recognisable are the covers he did for pulp crime novels, pale-skinned dames lolling on sofas or hearth rugs, a martini never far away. Unquestionably sexual yet always strong, a McGinnis woman looked you in the eye from across the book store, a cocktail olive hovering at her lips, and dared you not to pick the book up. 

It’s no surprise McGinnis also had frequent commissions within the pages of men’s magazines, most particular Saga. “I didn’t sign it,” he explains in the accompanying text, “because I was ashamed of doing them, I grew up in the Midwest, and I don’t think my mother and father would want their name associated with it.”

The book covers his entire career, taking in more unlikely — but never less than gorgeous — work from the pages of National Geographic, Good Housekeeping and Guideposts, a Christian publication for which McGinnis worked more than any other, illustrating ‘inspiring’ stories.

An utterly beautiful book, to be enjoyed with a tumbler of whisky and a twinkle in the eye.

 

 

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