Alex Horley’s artistic talent knows no boundaries. He has a solid foundation in traditional art with a superior eye for light, color, camera placement and composition. He is well known for his diverse visual range in regards to concept design, exceptional human and creature anatomy, ability to depict action, strong storytelling and sequence development skills. His distinctive compelling imagery leaps from the page and has earned him the reputation of one of today’s top creative visionaries who is finding an ever-expanding audience.
Real name Alessandro Orlandelli, he was born in the small town of Opera in the outskirts of Milan Italy. His love for the fantastic came early while reading his favorite Marvel comics in the seventies. He started to try and draw them when he was in kindergarten and even taught himself the English language by reading comic books. Within those pages he studied stylings of such masters as Jack Kirby, Gil Kane, Gene Colan as well as John and Sal Buscema. Years later it would be the writings of Robert E. Howard which fueled his imagination and love of the fantasy genre. He then discovered the art of Frank Frazetta on the cover of the Conan the Destroyer comic series. He searched bookstores for more of his work and came across The Fantastic Art of Frank Frazetta Volumes 1-4. The very next day he purchased his very fist set and brushes and began to push paint around on the canvas.
After high school he went straight into Art College and was then accepted into the prestigious Academy of Fine Arts of Milan. During his first year he was invited to take an internship at the academy’s museum “Gallery of Brera.” Any free time he had was spent painting his own fantasy style illustrations and frequenting the local comic book stores. He began collecting Pulp publications, Vampirella, Creepy, Eerie as well as books on everyone from Caravaggio to Waterhouse. During this time he also discovered the works of Richard Corben and Simon Bisley. Next to Frazetta these two artists would be the strongest influences on him while developing his own skills as a painter.
After graduating from the academy, he created the name “Alex Horley” because he thought his real name would be too hard for potential editors to remember and felt it took up too much space when signing his name to his original works of art. He started his professional career right away creating covers for video game and role playing game magazines throughout the European Market. Early on he made a trip to London to meet with the editors of Monster Massacre and Blackball Comics. He was instantly commissioned for several pin-ups. He also started working for Marvel Italy and producing character designs for The Mutant Chronicles published by Acclaim/Dark Horse.
It was then the editors and art directors at DC Comics discovered Alex’s work. He signed on for a Lobo mini-series, several painted covers and story layouts for both the DC and Vertigo division. He was also part of the Batman Master Series. A group of trading cards later reprinted in a hard cover format art book.
Alex then entered the world of adult format comics. He was commissioned by Glen Danzig to produce several pin-ups and story layouts for his Verotik Comics. He also began a series of projects for Penthouse Comix and received an overwhelming response from its readers. In addition, he began the designs and layouts for “Sharky”, a new mini-series for Image Comics. He was also chosen to be one of the artists to be featured in the Frank Frazetta Fantasy Illustrated Magazine.
The owner and publisher of Heavy Metal Magazine, Kevin Eastman, then contacted Alex. After completing an eight-page short story for the publication, Kevin asked Alex to produce covers and calendar art annually along with a series of limited edition posters.
The covers and posters featured his muse Stacy E. Walker, one of the most well known figure models in the fantasy and comic art genre. The collaborations together became so popular for the publication they produced a statue based on their signature painting “Red Stacy” as well as their own calendar. A 12” x 18” sculpture of their iconic Galactic Cop cover image is set for release in 2012. The duo was also featured guests at the Heavy Metal Booth at the San Diego Comic Con for five years before breaking out on their own.
In addition to Heavy Metal, Alex produced cover art for countless comics and magazines including titles for Devils Due, Vampirella, and the Comic Book Buyers Guide. DC Comics then enlisted Alex to fully paint the six issue mini-series “Lobo Unbound”. The first issue was an instant sell out and DC Direct asked Alex to design a high end limited edition statue based on the cover art from the issue. Later they would ask Alex to produce box art for a Lobo action figure being produced by Mattel to be sold exclusively at the San Diego Comic Con.
During this time Alex began to work with the gaming company Wizards of the Coast on one of the most popular trading card games in the world, Magic: The Gathering and has produced more the 120 cards for the game. He was also one of a select group of artists chosen to work on their Harry Potter Game. Most recently he was handed picked by the art director to work on their new internet comic series Path Of the Planeswalker. The series proved to be so popular it was also published as a 160 page graphic anthology. A small preview booklet featuring a sample chapter by Alex was produced and distributed as a limited edition promotional item at the San Diego Comic Con as well as other major gaming conferences.
It would not take long before Alex’s explosive images would catch the eye of a variety of licensing companies and celebrities. He began a series of limited edition cell prints for the innovative new company Laser Mach, Inc. He produced exclusive art featuring the characters of Marvel Comics for Tower Records and the Universal Theme Parks. Gene Simmons of the legendary band KISS commissioned Alex for several pieces to bring visual impact to several projects he has in development. Alex consistently produces a variety of art for ground breaking musician and film maker Rob Zombie including color storyboards and advertising art for his films.
In early 2010, the rocker released his fourth solo album “Hellbilly Deluxe 2: Noble Jackals, Penny Dreadfuls and the Systematic Dehumanization of Cool” and before saying goodbye to the almighty CD in the wake of digital downloads, Zombie thought he would give it a big send-off . “I love being able to get great artists involved on my CD artwork and this time is the best yet. I gathered three of the top artists around to contribute some killer new Zombie art for the booklet. These three masters have added an awesome edge to the CD package that I’m sure you will love.” Alex is one of those three masters and has four paintings prominently featured in the CD booklet. The provocative “Jesus Frankenstein” image he created was also used as the cover art of the Limited Edition Coffin Box Set version of the album as well as a limited edition t-shirt available exclusively at the Hot Topic store chain.
In addition to Zombie, he also created the CD cover art for two releases by the heavy metal band “Blood Tsunami” as well as one of Italy’s biggest pop/rock stars “Lorenzo Jovanotti.”
Alex’s versatile artistic talent has also enabled him to expand in to a wide variety of new markets. He was commissioned to create a “pop art” style cover for the magazine Psychology Today along with an interior story. The art was so well received it was then licensed by their European counter part Focus Magazine. Focus is one of Europe’s most popular magazines with a circulation of six million. After the art appeared on the cover of the Italian edition, it was picked up by Spain and Greece as well. The cutting edge fashion magazine Flaunt asked Alex to produce two alternate covers feature Siena Miller and Topher Grace to compliment their interior fashion spreads. The prestigious ad agency Cramer Krasselt of Chicago asked Alex to produce the advertising art for the Broan Company to run in trade publications across North America and Canada. He was also selected as one of only five renowned artists to be featured in a Masters of Fantasy limited edition tattoo flash art set produced by the leading distributor in the field, Bullseye Tattoos. He also created the cover art for the project and it was later made available as a limited edition print. He also completed the packaging art for an entire new series of Action Man toys for Hasbro’s European market.
Next Alex began working with the Upper Deck Entertainment Company for several of their new trading card games. He produced cards and box art for the Verses game featuring the characters from Marvel and DC Comics. His art was also features in their Marvel Masterpiece series. The company was so impressed with the packaging art he created for the “Marvel Team Up” set, he was asked to create the first box art for their “Pirates of the Caribbean” game in association with The Disney Company. Soon after, he was asked to start producing art for a new game to be based on one of the biggest properties in the computer gaming industry, “World of Warcraft.” After completing a successful signing tour throughout Europe to launch the game, Alex was asked to create the art for a special stackable collector tin card box for their market. His eye-popping illustrations became and instant favorite amongst the staff of the games creators at Blizzard Entertainment. He was the first non Blizzard staff member they approved to produce art for the packaging of the game as well as their licensed product line. His original art is highly coveted by their staff and there are more than twelve of his paintings hanging throughout the companies headquarters. Blizzard’s Executive VP and co-founder Frank Pearce loves his take on their characters and is the proud owner of more than six of his paintings. He generously lent one of his paintings to an exhibition on World of Warcraft and Emerging Media at the Laguna Museum of Art in Laguna Beach California. In the fall of 2010, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Taiwan featured 700 pieces of art from Blizzard Entertainments Diablo, Starcraft, and World of Warcraft in a series titled “Fights, Flights and Frights Inside the Storm”. It was the first time Blizzard had an exhibition of its art overseas. Alex’s 16x20 oil painting of “Tosh from Starcraft and owned by Blizzard Entertainment was prominently featured in the exhibition. Alex was extremely honored to be included in both of these unique and prestigious events. Alex quickly became a huge fan of the company and its staff members and spends a good amount of with them at their offices in Irvine California and has a contract with their Creative Development Department. He considers working with Blizzard as the best job he has ever had and looks forward to a long creative relationship with the company.
Alex continues to receive rave reviews for his work around the globe from some of the biggest publications in the field including Fantasy Art Now, The Future of Fantasy Art, Spectrum Fantastic Art, ImagineFX, Beckett Massive Online Gamer, DRAW, and China’s Fantasy Art Magazine. The Alex Horley Sketchbook was released in August of 2009 in three formats, Trade Paperback, Hard Cover and Deluxe Limited Edition Slipcase Hardcover. It is the first retrospective of his work packed with over 200 illustrations from his behind-the scenes drawings and preliminaries to his triumphant, finished paintings along with his own in-depth personal commentary. A full color retrospective of his work is in the planning stages for future release.
Looking ahead Alex’s calendar is jam packed. He looks forward to all the exciting projects he will work on with Blizzard as well as continuing his work with comics, graphic novels, and cover art. He also looks forward to expanding his career deeper into the fields of concept design and storyboarding for video games and feature films.
Most recently he formed a production company with his partner and muse Stacy E. Walker and the “Alex Horley” name is now a registered trademark of Blaze Productions Inc. where plans are currently in the works to fully develop his own innovative ideas in the fantasy genre as well as the entertainment arts.