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 David Mario Palladini  (1946 - )

About: David Mario Palladini
 

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: illustration

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Ad Code: 4
illustration by David Mario Palladini
"Aug. 24 Virgo Sept. 22", "Libra Sep. 23 - Oct. 23", Prints from the set of twelve astrological signs of the zodiac, published in 1970
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
David Mario Palladini is a noted artist and illustrator primarily known for his illustrations in the Linweave Tarot Deck (1967), the Aquarian Tarot Deck (1970) and New Palladini Tarot Deck (1996), interior book & cover illustrations, children’s book illustrations, magazine covers, movie, musical and poster illustrations, and album covers to name a few.

His style over the years has blended many different art forms such as Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Medieval, Renaissance, Egyptian, 1960’s psychedelic and New Age images.  His work is reminiscent to the Art Nouveau illustrations of Alphonse Mucha (French, 1860-1939), and Aubrey Beardsley (English, 1872-1898).

Over the last 40-50 years in the illustration industry, Palladini has shared the success and spotlight with contemporary artists who all have been similarly influenced by the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements and have a similar feel to their work, artists such as Stanley “Mouse” Miller (American, 1940-), Rick Griffin (American, 1944-1991), Victor Moscoso (American, 1936-), Wes Wilson (American, 1937-), Bob Masse (Canadian, 1945-), and Alton Kelley (American, 1940-2008) to name a few.  Though his style has changed somewhat over the years, Palladini still maintains his own unique style and rock-solid place in the history of illustration artwork.

In 1965 at the age of nineteen, while he was still an art student in college, Palladini was approached by a gentleman from the Brown Company to do illustrations for a Tarot deck called the Linweave Tarot, which was later published in 1967. He along with three other contributing artists illustrated the Tarot Pack, a large (15cm x 22cm) non traditional deck published by Brown Company, Pulp, Paper and Board Division as a promotional product for their Linweave product line of printing papers.  The other contributing artists included Ron Rae, Hy Roth, and Nicholas Sidjakov. Each artist took one suit and Palladini took the swords, Rae took the coins, Roth took the cups, Sidjakov took the batons, and the majors were fairly evenly split up amongst the four artists. The deck is pretty rare to find on the open market and contains wonderful artwork by these talented artists.   

His Aquarian Tarot Deck was first published in 1970 by Morgan Press Inc., Dobbs Ferry, NY and it has been one of the most popular and best-selling tarot decks over the years.  His style is unique, and his illustrations combined the traditional tarot symbols along with more modern updated images which combined the Art Deco and Art Nouveau styles with fine detail and precise execution.  The Aquarian Tarot is now being published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. and is printed by A.G. Müeller.

In the same year, a series of 12 astrological zodiac posters were published by Morgan Press, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY. All the prints were created in 1969 by Palladini and featured each of the twelve astrological zodiac symbols (or sun signs) in a very Art Deco/Art Nouveau, 1960’s psychedelic style with amazing detail and color.  Each poster featured the name of the appropriate sun sign and corresponding dates of each sign.  Ten of the posters had Palladini’s printed signature along with the date `69 printed somewhere on the piece, while only two, “Gemini” & “Scorpio” had his signature only without the date. The posters were printed by an offset four-color printing process on an inexpensive lighter weight white stock and were originally sold for $1.00 back in 1970. The size of each poster was 14.5” x 22.25”, and had about a ¾” white margin around the left, right and bottom sides, and about a 1-1/4” at the top. The original quantity produced for the zodiac poster set is unknown and many of the posters seen on the open market over the years had unfortunately been drymounted (glued) to a wood backing board with a heavy polyurethane or shellac surface coating. Mounting the pieces with polyurethane/shellac was often done by the owner of the piece or by certain distributors back in the day. The mounted prints were intended to be displayed as a piece of wall art which was very popular throughout the 1960-70’s. Many pieces of artwork, rock posters and album illustrations were also done in this manner and sold to the public. Over time, the older type of polyurethane/shellac tended to yellow and would heavily discolor the pieces. Palladini’s original astrological zodiac posters are now extremely rare and very hard-to-come-by on the open market as an entire set or to even find one in good original unmounted/unframed condition.

Twenty-six years later, following the success of the Aquarian Tarot, U.S. Games Systems, Inc. in 1996 published Palladini’s second full deck, the New Palladini Tarot. The newer deck features a reworked and updated style of imagery and colors from that of his previous Aquarian deck, and incorporates Medieval, Renaissance, Egyptian and modern art images in his unique original style. The illustrations were drawn with pencils, ink and magic markers on rag paper and included more detail. Palladini focused on representing the many races and various religions of man--to have a more universal appeal and inclusive feel. “As the creator of The New Palladini Tarot, I have tried to infuse as much magic and true meaning as possible into the artwork. But these subtleties will only become apparent and useful after careful and patient introspection. Each door which opens reveals more doors to be opened. Each road traveled leads to more roads and choices. Each new piece of knowledge gleaned from the cards leads to greater knowledge. Remember, your personal input is very important to the successful use of the Tarot cards, and intuition and sensitivity are paramount. The cards can only be a tool of introspection, a mirror for one's own development, an occasional counsel and help. That is the spirit in which I wish my decks to be used. Not as a substitute for spirituality, but as an enhancement of belief and truth.”[1]-David Palladini

My Conversation with David Palladini 07/07/08:

On July 7th, 2008 I had the complete pleasure and honor to speak with David on the phone. One of the ladies in our Art Shop had come to tell me that a Mr. Palladini was on the phone for me. I looked at her and said “What?, Are you kidding?” I couldn’t believe it, and quickly became somewhat nervous and was in disbelief. I answered the phone and was soon feeling at ease since David was very friendly and completely down to earth.    

David had called me in reference to one of the zodiac posters we had recently listed on eBay. A friend of his, an astrologer and collector of his work had emailed him a picture of the zodiac poster “Virgo” from the eBay listing. He was very gracious and thanked us for the preservation, description and detail of the work and mentioned that he had not seen any of the zodiac posters since they were published in 1970, and was happy to see the “Virgo” poster after all this time. I told him that the “Libra” poster had just sold on eBay, but that we had ten of the posters available (including “Virgo”), all of which were in mint condition as well. They had just been previously listed along with the other poster and I mentioned that we were unfortunately missing the “Leo” poster and I had not been able to find it in our archive yet. I told him that the posters had been tucked away in our drawers since Walter Meibohm had purchased them in 1970 and that they hadn’t seen the light-of-day in all this time, and were still as beautiful and vibrant as the day they were printed. He mentioned that he would have signed the whole set if we had all twelve, but unfortunately we were now short two of them.

David did confirm with me that the zodiac posters were published by Morgan Press, out of Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, which I had suspected since they had come out the same year as his Aquarian Tarot deck. He chuckled and said that they had originally sold for $1.00 back in 1970. I told him that I was a big fan of illustration work, especially that of the 1960’s-70’s psychedelic work, rock illustrations, posters, handbills etc., and we talked about how original posters from that time period are quite sought after by collectors now and are worth a lot more. We went on to discuss how illustration work has unfortunately died out over the last 30-40 years and that only a handful of artists are still doing it or trying to keep the style alive, which is a shame. He told me that he doesn’t do much illustration work these days either, and that his new work is quite different from what he has done before.

He went on to say, that he had lived in France for 18 years in a very small village of about 28 people or so, and that everyone in the village rode bicycles since there were no cars. He said that every morning, he could walk outside his home and smell the scent of fresh rosemary in the air. He also stated humorously, that he wondered why he had even come back to the States. So much had changed here and after living in a village for so long without automobiles, he said that it was sort of overwhelming. He was even afraid to cross the street, with all the cars speeding by.

I went on to ask him about his exhibition history and he said that he has traveled and exhibited all over the world is places such as Brazil, Jamaica, Paris, and throughout Europe. He said that his artwork has traveled with him to each exhibition over the years and that some pieces are a little worse for wear because of it. He also mentioned that he currently sells his artwork in a gallery in Paris, France, but I couldn’t remember the name of the gallery unfortunately. Needless to say, David is doing well and currently lives and maintains his studio in southern California. One interesting thing he also mentioned during the conversation as a side thought, (and as best as I could remember his statement), was that “Van Gogh never sold a painting in his lifetime, except one painting to his brother for 5 Francs, and his brother was an art dealer too!”[2], -He was referencing how an artist’s work is not usually fully appreciated or even valuable while the artist is still alive.

Speaking with David was certainly one of the highlights of my life, not only because he is such a well known artist, but for the fact that I am a fan of his work. After a very pleasant conversation that lasted for about a half hour, I got off the phone and couldn’t believe that I had just talked with who I feel is one of the best illustrators of the last 40 years. I immediately went upstairs to my studio and typed down everything that we had talked about while it was still fresh in my memory, so I hope I have got it right.

Sadly, there is not a lot of biographical information out there regarding this remarkable artist and I wanted to put together as much of a comprehensive biography as I could, from my conversation with him and from what I have found across the internet. From what I have researched and read on different websites and in certain blogs, his artwork is highly appreciated by his fans worldwide and his original artwork is very hard to come by on the open market, as he is very reluctant to sell it. Some of his fans have stated that they would like to know more about him and see a more comprehensive biography--he certainly deserves it. I have tried my best to put together a complete list of his published works in one place (as noted below) and included as much bio info as I could find for him, but I am sure it is incomplete to say the least, for such a prolific artist.

-Mark Strong, Meibohm Fine Arts, Inc. East Aurora, NY.

Publications by the Artist: A Year (More or Less) in Jamaica, written & illustrated by David Palladini, Paladin Press, Jamaica, West Indies, 1992; Reading Tarot Cards: A Guide to the New Palladini Tarot, by David Palladini, U.S. Games Systems, Inc., 1997.

Illustrated Tarot Decks: “Linweave Tarot Pack”, illustrated by contributing artists David Mario Palladini, Ron Rae, Hy Roth and Nicholas Sidjakov, set of 42 oversized cards (15cm x 22cm), published by Brown Company, Pulp, Paper and Board Division, included pamphlet on how to use the cards for fortunetelling, issued as a promotional product for the Linweave line of papers, 1967; “Aquarian Tarot Deck”, published by Morgan Press Inc., Dobbs Ferry, NY, 1970; “New Palladini Tarot”, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc., 1996.

Illustrated Publications: Print: America’s Graphic Design Magazine, by Ed Martin, David Palladini, Et. Al. Fox, R.C. Publications, May/June, Vol. XXI, III, (included sample card from the Linweave Tarot pack), 1967; A Medical History of Henry VIII, (illustrations by Palladini), Eaton Laboratories, Division of the Norwich Pharmaceutical Company, Norwich, NY, 1970; Recipes: A Quintet of Cuisines (Foods of the World), by Richard Jeffrey and Fred Eng, (illustrated by Palladini and Gloria Dubouchet), Time Life Books, Time Inc., 1970; Redbook, “Joanna’s Peacable Kingdom”, by Elizabeth Moulton, (full page illustration by Palladini), Vol. 137, No. 3, July, 1971; Redbook, “A Redbook Novel: Small Expectations”, by Shelby Hearon, (illustrated by Palladini), Vol. 138, No. 3, January, 1971; National Lampoon, “Special Stoned Edition”, by Michael O’Donoghue, contributing artist Palladini and others, Vol. 1, No. 11, Head Issue, February, 1971; The Sword and the Grail, by Constance B. Hieatt, HarperCollins Juvenile Books, 1972; National Lampoon, “Zircaon as Big as Taft”, art by Palladini, Vol. 1, No. 26, MEN issue, May, 1972; The Clang Birds, by John L’Heureux, (dust jacket cover illustration by Palladini), New York, The Macmillan Company, 1972; People of the Ice Age, by Ruth Goode, Crowell-Collier, 1973; The Windows of Tarot, by F.D. Graves, (featured illustrations of Palladini’s Aquarian Tarot), Morgan & Morgan, Dobbs Ferry, NY, 1973; The Girl Who Cried Flowers and Other Tales, by Jane Hyatt Yolen, T.Y Crowell, 1974; The End of the World, by Franklyn Mansfield Branley, Crowell, NY, 1974; The Moon Ribbon and Other Tales, by Jane Yolen, Thomas Y. Crowell, NY, 1976; The Devil in a Forest, by Gene Wolfe, (cover illustration by Palladini), Follett, Chicago, 1976; The Hundredth Dove and Other Tales, by Jane Yolen, Crowell, 1977; The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, (cover illustration by Palladini of Jane Yolen’s The Hundredth Dove and Other Tales), Vol. 52, No. 4, #311, Mercury Press, April, 1977; Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast, by Robin McKinley (her first novel, cover illustration by Palladini), HarperCollins, 1978; The Fortunes and Misfortunes of The Famous Moll Flanders, by Daniel Defoe, Franklin Library, 1978; The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, (cover illustration by Palladini of Jane Yolen’s Brother Hart), Vol. 55, No. 5, #330, November, Mercury Press, 1978; Strange Relations, by Philip José Farmer, (cover illustration by Palladini), Avon, NYC, (3rd printing), 1978; Yearwood: Volume I of the Finnbranch Trilogy, by Paul Hazel, (dust jacket cover by Palladini), 1980; Justine, by Lawrence Durrell, The Franklin Library, 1980; Twenty-Six Starlings Will Fly Through Your Mind, by Barbara Wersba, HarperCollins, 1980; The Maharajah & Other Stories, by Terence Hanbury White, (dust jacket cover illustration by Palladini), Putnam Publishing Group, 1981; If You Call My Name, by Crescent Dragonwagon, (cover illustration & interior art by Palladini), Harper & Roe, 1981; Undersea: Volume II of the Finnbranch, by Paul Hazel, (dust jacket cover by Palladini), Atlantic/Little Brown and Company, Boston, 1982; New York, magazine (cover illustration by Palladini, photograph of Caruso by Aimé Dupont), “The Magic of the Metropolitan Opera: Centennial 1883-1983”, Special Souvenir Edition, Oct 17, Vol. 16, No. 41, published by New York Media, LLC, 1983; Homesmind, by Pamela Sargent, (Dust jacket cover art by Palladini), 1984; Cards of Grief, by Jane Yolen, (cover illustration by Palladini), 1984; The Ceremonies, by T.E.D. Klein, (dust jacket illustration by Palladini), The Viking Press, 1984; Winterking, by Paul Hazel, (cover by Palladini), Atlantic Monthly Press, M.M. Kavanagh, 1985; The Eyes of the Dragon, by Stephen King, with the artwork rendered in pencil and ink on Bienfeng velour paper, Viking Press, 1987; Merlin, by Norma Lorre Goodrich, New York Franklin Watts, 1987; Becoming Orgasmic, by Joseph LoPiccolo Ph. D., and Julia R. Heiman, Ph.D., Fireside Books, 1987; “Olives are Plucked in Prime Condition.”, by Vikram Seth, Poem on recto superimposed on colored illustration by David Palladini of suspension bridge, each postcard shows different part of bridge, published by Vintage Books, 1987; Castle Rock: The Stephen King Newsletter, illustrated black & white, articles by Stephen King, (cover illustrations by David Palladini), Vol. 3-4, No. 11-1, Special Double Issue, December 1987-January 1988; The Prince in the Golden Tower, by Florence B. Karpin, Viking Kestral, 1989.    

Illustrated Posters: “1968 Olympics”, poster illustration by Palladaini (Warrior), Mexico City, 1968; “Perrier: New York City Marathon `77, Sunday, October 23rd, 10:30A.M.”, poster by Palladini, 1977; “Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht”, German film, (English: “Nosferatu: The Vampyre”), written and directed by Werner Herzog, illustration by Palladini 1979; “Malice Aforethought”, illustration by Palladini, 1979; “Pretty Please”, Smokey the Bear poster with butterflies, illustration by Palladini, published by the U.S. Forest Service, Smokey Bear Collection, 1989; “Willie Nelson”, poster illustration by Palladini, “Superstars Series”, New York Daily News, No. 13, (circa mid 1990’s); ebay.com, prior listing, The Ceremonies, by T.E.D. Klein, (dust jacket illustration by Palladini), The Viking Press, 1984.

Other Illustrated Work: “The Secret Romance” (#1), “Merlin the Magician” (#2), “I Knight Thee Sir Lancelot” (#3), “The Joust” (#4), “King Arthur And His Queen” (#5), “The Sword And The Stone” (#6), “Rescued” (#7), “The Knights of the Round Table” (#8), exclusively for The Hamilton Collection, The Legends of Camelot Plate Collection, collector plates in a series of eight plates designed by Palladini, limited-edition fine china plates which portrayed the romance and chivalry of the Kingdom of Camelot, Decorated By Pickard China, U.S.A. For The Hamilton Collection, Strictly limited to an edition of 12,500 for each plate, 1982; “The Leprechaun”, by Chick Corea, record album cover art by Palladini, Polydor Records, 1976.

(Rewritten in parts & compiled chronologically by Mark Strong of Meibohm Fine Arts, Inc., East Aurora, NY, 09/2009. Sources: A special thank you to David Palladini for taking the time to talk with me and for additional biographical information.  Additional sources and a more complete biography can be viewed at www.meibohmfinearts.com 

Our internal records and quote [2]; Wikipedia;  themysticeye.com, the Linweave Tarot Pack; wicce.com Tarot pack; tarotcollectors.com; tarotpassages.com, Aquarian Tarot Deck/New Palladini Tarot review by Lee Bursten; Quote [1] from the introduction card in the New Palladini Tarot pack, U.S. Games Systems, Inc. in 1996; Amazon.com; openlibrary.org, A Year (More or Less) in Jamaica, by David Palladini, 1992; openlibrary.org, The End of the World, by Franklyn Mansfield Branley, 1974; tatteredandlostephemera.blogspot.com, anonymous post with images, 04/05/09, “David Palladini”; Inventory-MationalLampoonHeavyMetal.doc, “National Lampoon – 1972; (3rd Year – Uncommon issues), National Lampoon, “Zircaon as Big as Taft”, art by Palladini, Vol. 1, No. 26, MEN issue, May, 1972, Comic World, Steinback, Manitoba, Canada; Special Collections at the National Agriculture Library: 159PDF.pdf, nal.usda.gov, U.S. Forest Service, Smokey Bear Collection, Drawer 29, 1989-CFFP-15: PRETTY PLEASE. By David Palladini. (30” x 20”) (6) (Butterfly); SF&F Encyclopedia (Science Fiction & Fantasy Encyclopedia), online digitized book, scribd.com; biblio.com; eBay.com, prior listing, Redbook, magazine, “Joanna’s Peacable Kingdom”, by Elizabeth Moulton, (full page illustration by Palladini), Vol. 137, No. 3, July, 1971; eBay.com. prior listing, Redbook, magazine, “A Redbook Novel: Small Expectations”, by Shelby Hearon, (illustrated by Palladini), Vol. 138, No. 3, January, 1971; ebay.com, prior listing, “Willie Nelson”, poster, “Superstars Series”, New York Daily News, No. 13, (circa mid 1990’s); “The Leprechaun”, by Chick Corea, record album cover art by Palladini, Polydor Records, 1976; “The Legends of Camelot”, titles from the 8 plate collection, produced by Pickard, for the Hamilton Collection, limited edition of 12,500 each; xs4all.com, for the book, Strange Relations, by Philip José Farmer, (cover illustration by Palladini), Avon, NYC, (3rd printing), 1978; book.google.com, “Olives are Plucked in Prime Condition.”, by Vikram Seth, Poem on recto superimposed on colored illustration by David Palladini of suspension bridge, each postcard shows different part of bridge, published by Vintage Books, 1987; Jim Leff’s Slog, posted by Jim Leff, Thursday, December 18, 2008, “Free New York Magazine back Issues: Every New York Magazine from 1965 to 1995 is now available free, online, including the pictures”, jimleff.blogspot.com; iobabooks.com, Castle Rock: A Stephen King Newsletter, Vol. 3-4, No. 11-1, Special Double Issue, December 1987-January 1988; Postersplease.com, “A Sale of Over 400 Rare, Original Posters, Thursday, March 12 at 5:30PM, At The International Poster Center, 601 West 26th Street (Bet.11th And 12th Aves.”, lot 371, “Perrier: New York City Marathon `77, Sunday, October 23rd, 10:30A.M.”, 23-3/4” x 36” poster by Palladini, 1977, Modernposters.pdf.)  


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