Luis Royo was born in 1954 in Olalla, a small village in Teruel, Spain. As a child, he moved to Zaragoza where he studied technical design, painting, and interior design. By 1972 he began painting, exposing his art to new forum. In 1978 he became a comic artist and soon triumphed internationally.
Samples of his work appeared in some of the most important magazines of the time and were later compiled into the following books: Luis Royo (Rambla, 1985) and Desfase (Ikusager, 1986). In 1983 he moved onto illustrations, were he produced his greatest achievements. He achieves this success with the help of Norma, his publisher and editor that distributes his work to the entire world.
In 1992 his first book, Women, appears, followed by Malefic (1994), Secrets (1996), III Millennium (1998), Dreams (1999), Prohibited Book 1 (1999), Evolution (2001), Prohibited Book 2 (2001, Conceptions I (2002), Visions (2003), Prohibited Book 3 (2003) and Conceptions II (2003). Along with these titles, six collectors cards series were released, five collectors portfolios, posters, and a tarot card set called The Black Tarot. The increasing popularity of Royo´s images allowed for the publication of postcards, calendars, playing cards, t-shirts, album covers, video games, mouse pads, and even sculpture.
With such a wide range of products, Royo has become an authentic cultural phenomenon. His books have gone through numerous editions and have been translated into French, English, Italian, Russian, and Portuguese. Magazines like Stampa, Airbrush-Action, and Penthouse have dedicated entire articles to him. Festivals, art galleries, and specialty stores continuously organize expositions honoring his work. He has received the Spectrum Silver Award (United States), Cartoomics (Italy), and the Pilgrim Prize (Russia), amongst many others.
The success of Royo is due largely to the originality of his work, which has broken through traditional barriers and revolutionized the world of illustration. He has a keen interest in fantasy themes, though he experiments with other themes like the western, historic epics, and romance. Setting aside his themes, his innovative style breathes power while radiating a fragile, almost mystic transparency. Royo´s treatment of the human figure, especially his women, endows the body with a soulful brilliance. His use of color, from the most saturated gamma to the most despoiled gray is contrasted with an intense touch of chrome, creating an aura of fascination that invites us to enter his world.
Despite the consistent use of certain elements, Royo´s style reflects a clear evolution. When reviewing his work chronologically, one can see a refinement in his style and the reinforcement of his theme, as each composition becomes even more poetic and graceful. The apparent simplicity of his drawings is deceptive, allowing for a complex plot and a range of artistic options. His permanence on the front lines in the world of illustration and his increasing success is the result of his constant, subtle, and effective experimentation.
Royo has made the myth of “beauty and the beast” his principal theme, effortlessly moving from horror to the lyrical. Whatever the theme, his characters waltz effortlessly between epic and erotic. The subject´s flesh is overlaid with a defiant and threatening tone, marking them more exciting. As Royo knows all too well, when the dark ghost of death looms over the hero, the suggestion of sex becomes more intense.
When studying his characters, one notices that he places the subject on the border of tragedy, where they can shine more brilliantly. Their frozen position anticipates a destiny as attractive as it is cruel. Clutching their weapon, they await the next attack. Their intensity and the tautness of their muscles make them even more beautiful and dramatic. In the blink of an eye they can disappear, having been devoured by the danger that encircles them. But the immediate future doesn´t interest Royo. He portrays that penultimate moment, when the inner soul of the hero is revealed.
Related Link: Art Burger Art Store