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Potter, J K

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Artist.

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(1956-    ) Working name of American artist Jeffrey Knight Potter; some works are signed Jeff K Potter. Although born in California, he has lived most of his life in the American South, a region which he reports has had a major impact on his extravagantly outré artwork. After contributing to fanzines, Potter began his career by doing covers for small press publications (see Small Presses and Limited Editions), beginning with H Warner Munn's Tales of the Werewolf Clan (1979) for Donald M Grant, and these have remained his main market, though he has also done covers for major publishers' books, SF Magazines, and CDs.

Potter has garnered a unique reputation for relying upon altered photographs to produce strikingly bizarre or grotesque images which often "morph" disparate elements, like a human head emerging from a disembodied hand playing the piano, his cover for the Winter 1985 issue of Night Cry, or the woman with octopus's tentacles for hair on the cover of Poppy Z Brite's collection Are You Loathsome Tonight? (coll 1998). His art, unsurprisingly, is most often found on works of Fantasy or Horror, but occasional sf assignments can be effectively evocative, like his cover for the 1997 edition of Ursula K Le Guin's The Lathe of Heaven (1971), depicting a man's head merging into a devastated urban landscape. Oddly, three Potter works that received or were nominated for awards, while impressive in their own way, seem less adventurous than his better-known creations: his cover for the May 1985 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction, illustrating Bruce Sterling's "Dinner in Audoghast" by showing a large shrouded figure looming over a guarded entryway; his cover for Tim Powers's The Anubis Gates (1989), foregrounding a misty pyramid set against Egyptian hieroglyphics; and his cover for Powers's A Soul in a Bottle (2006), a subdued image of a beautiful woman inside a bottle. He has also created the covers for several books by Stephen King and Lucius Shepard. [GW]

Jeffrey Knight Potter

born Riverside, California: 10 July 1956



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