Joe DeVito was born on March 16, 1957, in the Hell’s Kitchen section of New York City and spent most of his formative years in the town of Berkeley Heights, New Jersey. He graduated with honors from New York’s Parsons School of Design in 1981 and continued refining his painting skills at the city’s Art Students League. His studies were further augmented by several workshops in human and animal anatomy (both modern and prehistoric) with John Zahourek. His continued research keeps him on the cutting edge of paleontological developments.
As an illustrator, over the years DeVito has painted many of the most recognizable Pop Culture and Pulp icons, including King Kong, Tarzan, Doc Savage, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, and MAD magazine’s Alfred E. Newman (a super hero to some). He has painted hundreds of book and magazine covers, a multitude of notable posters, and numerous trading cards for the major comic book and gaming houses. He also created concept and character design for the film and television industries.
Among DeVito’s sculpted works are the official 100th Anniversary statue of Tarzan of the Apes for the Edgar Rice Burroughs Estate, The Cooper Kong for the Merian C. Cooper Estate, Doc Savage for Graphitti Designs, Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman for Chronicle Book’s Masterpiece Editions and several other notable Pop and Pulp characters. Some of Joe’s recent illustration projects include multiple covers in collaboration with respected author and pulp historian, Will Murray, for The All New Wild Adventures of Doc Savage, Tarzan: Return to Pal-ul-don, The Sinister Shadow and the first ever authorized literary cross-over of two of the greatest action-adventure charactersof all time: King Kong vs. Tarzan.
Deeply rooted in the fine arts, Joe has sculpted two monumental statues of the Madonna and Child. One is placed in Domus Pacis at the Our Lady of Fatima Shrine, in Portugal. The second sculpture resides at the World Apostolate of Fatima (WAF) Shrine in Washington, NJ. Joe has restored the historic Russian icon known as the Odessa Madonna for the WAF, which now resides in Kazan, Russia. Other prominent painting and sculpture commissions include those from various corporations such as Land Rover Vehicles, the Edgar Rice Burroughs Foundation, and the Merian C. Cooper Estate.
An avid writer as well, DeVito is the creator of Skull Island and its ancillary work, The History of Skull Island.They are the first true literary prequel-sequels to the original King Kong story, are uniquely endorsed with the name of King Kong’s creator, Merian C. Cooper, and exclusively authorized by his family’s estate as their official Kong origin story. As co-author (with Brad Strickland) and illustrator, DeVito has also published two novels: KONG: King of Skull Island (2004, DH Press) and Merian C. Cooper’s KING KONG (2005, St. Martin’s Griffin). He has also contributed many essays and articles to such collected works as Kong Unbound: The Cultural Impact, Pop Mythos, and Scientific Plausibility of a Cinematic Legend and Do Androids Artists Paint In Oils When They Dream? in Pixel or Paint: The Digital Divide In Illustration Art.
Presently, Joe’s Skull Island property is in full development as a TV series and a unique, two-part interactive app version of KONG: King of Skull Island has been released. Continuing plans for the expansion of his Skull Island universe include a Kong of Skull Island comic book series and graphic novel with BOOM! Studios, the development of two new ground-breaking books that include voluminous, revealing Carl Denham sketchbook sections, and the planning a series of YA novels with prolific author and fellow Kong enthusiast, Brad Strickland. DeVito is concurrently developing story and imagery for his newest creation, a faction world of truly epic proportions tentatively titled The Primordials.
To augment his various creative endeavors, DeVito occasionally lectures and has taught in the graduate illustration program at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and as an adjunct professor in the illustration department at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
Joe’s work has been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the U.S. and other countries. In 2005 The Art of Kong: King of Skull Island was hosted by the Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators in New York City and was the longest one man show in the 100 plus years of their history. His art has won numerous awards, including coveted gold and silver awards from Spectrum, and his paintings and sculptures are included in published and private collections around the world.
FB: Joe DeVito-DeVito Artworks