The art of Ted Coconis


This poster for Massimo Dallamano’s 1970 updating of The Picture of Dorian Gray was featured here several years ago, and it’s taken me all this time to finally discover the name of the artist responsible, Ted Coconis. Better late than never. It could be argued that the illustrations below for Nabokov and Goldman tend more towards the artist’s own interests than representing the content of the books; I’ve not read Goldman’s novel (or seen the film) but online comments suggest that this was an unsuitable cover; Nabokov’s Ada is an erotic novel which presents its eros in a manner that’s a lot less direct than the painting implies. All I can say to this is that strict accuracy is for pedants; Aubrey Beardsley’s illustrations for Wilde’s Salomé aren’t in the least accurate yet they’re regarded as definitive. Sometimes illustrators are trying to convey in pictorial form an otherwise intangible impression of a book (or a film or play) which is what I see Ted Coconis doing here. There’s a lot more of his work at his website. It’s gorgeous stuff.


Cover illustration for Ada by Vladimir Nabokov.


Pola Negri.


Cover illustration for The Princess Bride by William Goldman.

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Dallamano’s Dorian Gray


The 1970 screen adaptation of Dorian Gray by Massimo Dallamano is one film version I’ve yet to see. Given that it’s a production of notorious schlock merchants Samuel Z Arkoff and Harry Alan Towers I wouldn’t expect too much although it does have Helmut Berger as the star when he was at the height of his pulchritude. And I really like this Klimt-esque poster, a typical piece of Seventies design with an illustration that resembles many of the trendier European comic strips of the period. I’ve no idea who the artist was despite there being a scrawled signature. If anyone has a clue, please leave a comment.

Update: The artist is Ted Coconis.

A lengthy review at Cinebeats

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The Oscar Wilde archive