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Gutierrez, Alan

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Artist.

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(1958-    ) American artist. After graduating from Pasadena's Art Center College of Design in 1982 with a BFA in Illustration, Gutierrez quickly entered the field of sf Illustration with a cover for the May 1983 issue of Fantasy Book depicting a Tyrannosaurus rex surrounded by cowboys. He then began painting covers for Tor Books which often featured impressively rendered Spaceships and other vehicles, sometimes entering the frame from an unusual angle, although human figures were occasionally foregrounded. Among works of particular interest was his cover for Eric Kotani and John Maddox Roberts's The Island Worlds (1987), depicting a Space Station attached to an Asteroid. Gutierrez's attention to hardware presumably reflected both his own preferences and those of his regular publishers, Tor and Baen Books, which often published Hard SF; but his cover for Melissa Scott and Lisa A Barnett's The Armor of Light (1988), showing a magician conjuring a light show for a Renaissance queen, demonstrated that he could do persuasive work outside of his usual parameters. While he focused on books, he also did covers for Analog, Asimov's Science Fiction, and other SF Magazines.

In the 1990s, Gutierrez continued working for Tor, producing an impressively nuanced cover for Jeffrey A Carver's The Infinite Sea (1994) wherein a vehicle hovers over clear domed structures on a rugged landscape, with a vortex in the background, almost entirely rendered in shades of blue; less impressively, he also did some nondescript covers for a series of juvenile Star Trek: Deep Space Nine novels. Recently, as assignments for books became less frequent, Gutierrez is endeavouring to market his art directly to consumers in various ways, and his occasional covers for Small Presses and Limited Editions show this artist, previously noted for realism, now employing a more stylized approach; one example would be his 2003 cover for the BenBella Books edition of David Gerrold's The Man Who Folded Himself (1973), displaying the protagonist's multiple Identities through history with diverse structures in the background. [GW]

Alan Gutierrez

born Kansas City, Missouri: 11 July 1958


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