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Van Hollander, Jason

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Artist.

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(1949-    ). American artist and author. A youthful fascination with the works of H P Lovecraft inspired the teenage Van Hollander to correspond with August Derleth and collect books from Arkham House, which would later employ him as a cover artist, beginning with Ramsey Campbell's anthology New Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos (coll 1980). He received his formal training at the Philadelphia College of Art, earning a BA in graphic design in 1971, and while initially focused on a career as a graphic designer, he has been active in genre art since the early 1990s, providing covers and interior art for Weird Tales and other magazines as well as numerous books from Small Presses.

Given his interests, it is unsurprising that he has mostly specialized in illustrating works of Horror, though he often eschews a traditional emphasis on darkness and shadows to offer watercolour paintings with bright colours, evoking an aura of the occult by means of what Jane Frank terms "depictions of architectural and spatial distortion." One standout effort, a wraparound cover for Gregory Frost's Attack of The Jazz Giants and Other Stories (coll 2005), showed famous faces peering out of windows in an impossibly convoluted, old-fashioned building; for Barbara Roden's and Christopher Roden's anthology Shadows and Silence (anth 2000), another strange structure is populated with ethereal ghouls, with one seemingly liquefied figure attached to a wall. Van Hollander himself has explained his unsettling artistic style as a reflection of his lifelong agoraphobia, though he has also cited Arkham illustrator Frank Utpatel as an influence. None of his particular works have been singled out for honours, but he won World Fantasy Awards in 2000 and 2004 for general artistic achievement.

Van Hollander has also written some short fiction, usually in collaboration with fellow Philadelphian Darrell Schweitzer; their stories were collected in Necromancies and Netherworlds: Uncanny Stories (coll 1999). He also contributed a 2004 "Curiosities" item to The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, celebrating Josephine Pinckney's Great Mischief (1948). [GW]

Jason Van Hollander

born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 9 September 1949



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