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Gavin L. O'Keefe
Born Australia
Occupation Artist, writer
Nationality Australian

Gavin L. O'Keefe is an Australian illustrator.

Biography

Early life

Born in Melbourne. Lived in Sydney from the early-1980s to 1990. During that period, his artwork (usually black and white, though sometimes colour) was included in a variety of non-fiction books, science-fiction and horror magazine and other publications. His earliest covers were for books by Australian writers Jacob G. Rosenberg, Alex Skovron, Walter Adamson, and Ian Kennedy Williams.

Career

O'Keefe's work has appeared in many journals, including Crypt of Cthulhu, Phantastique, Pulse of Darkness, Shadowplay, Terror Australis, Esoterica, Wildfire and Theosophy in Australia. He has also provided illustrations for anthologies such as Terror Australis: Best Australian Horror. He has illustrated works by H.P. Lovecraft, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Norman Berrow and many others.

He contributed some 'horsey' drawings to the first book devoted to the sport of polocrosse in Australia ("Polocrosse: Australian Made, Internationally Played" by Sally Boillotat, Belcris Books, Sydney 1990).

O'Keefe's illustrations for Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures In Wonderland (subtitled 'The GO Alice') were published in Melbourne in 1990. His continuing fascination with Carroll is displayed in his illustrated edition of The Hunting of the Snark. His new illustrated edition of Through The Looking-Glass is now available from Ramble House.[1]

He has a special interest in the art of Australian painters Rosaleen Norton, Norma Bull, and Vali Myers. He has also written essays on writers and artists, such as "Sita and Salome: A Short Comparative Look at the Art of Aubrey Beardsley and Mervyn Peake" in Peake Studies 2, No 3 (Winter 1991) and "Alice's Odyssey in Oz", Oz Arts 7 (1993).

O'Keefe illustrates for a wide variety of media, as exemplified by his artwork for the comic Jonny Flathead, Psychotronic Werewolf from Chris G.C. Sequeira's Sequence Productions. In the early 1990's O'Keefe was briefly involved with the Australian 'station' of TOPY and provided illustrations for various of their local publications as well as performances held at the AFI Cinema in Paddington.

A particular inspiration has been the works of Lewis Carroll. As well as illustrating editions of Alice's Adventures In Wonderland and The Hunting Of The Snark, his Alice work has been featured in the 'Carroll & Alice' exhibition in Japan (1993) and in the All in the golden afternoon: the inventions of Lewis Carroll exhibition at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto (1999). More recently, O’Keefe’s illustrations for The Hunting Of The Snark have at long last become available again within the pages of A Snark Selection (Ramble House) which also features chapters from the novels of Harry Stephen Keeler which were also inspired by Carroll’s Snark.

O’Keefe has also illustrated Philip José Farmer’s The Green Odyssey, William Blake's An Island in the Moon, Aleister Crowley's The Poem and Leanne Frahm's Borderline. One of his most recent jackets is for the Lovecraftian novel Marblehead by Richard A. Lupoff, published by small press Ramble House[1], managed by writer/musician Fender Tucker. (O'Keefe has provided most of the book cover art for the numerous titles issued by Fender Tucker's Ramble House.)

O'Keefe's particular interest is in fantasy illustration with a current emphasis on crime and cult fiction, especially the novels of Harry Stephen Keeler.

Books

Awards

  • 2002 Sixth Annual Imitate Keeler Competition, for the story "Turn Up on Time!"[2]

References

  1. https://www.createspace.com/3430328
  2. Sixth Annual Imitate Keeler Competition
  • Alice 125: A Celebration. Melbourne: Carroll Foundation, 1990 (exhibition catalogue; includes biography on, and article by, O'Keefe), p. 216
  • "Illustrators of Peake", Peake Studies 2, No 1 (Winter 1990), pp. 28-29.
  • "The O'Keefe File" (interview by Bryce J. Stevens), Choking Dog Gazette, 4 (Winter 1999).
  • "Two Interviews with Gavin L. O'Keefe" (interviews by Leigh Blackmore), Mantichore 12 (Nov 2008).

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