"(Untitled)"   Lot no. 47

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By Roger Kastel (1931-2023)

25.00" x 29.50"
Acrylic on Board
Signed Lower Center



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"The book of Abraham" Dell books

Explore related art collections: Religous / Action / Romance / Books / Family / Drama / Violence/Guns / Seniors / $100 - $5,000

See all original artwork by Roger Kastel



Roger Kastel is a highly acclaimed artist, the product of his childhood dream. As a young boy in White Plains, N.Y., he lived next door to comic book artist Tom Hickey. He remembers going over and watching Tom create a comic book cover with a baseball game on the radio in the background. He thought, “What a wonderful way to make a living.” He began drawing his own comic strips and showing them to his father who painted as a hobby. His father had the good instinct to be very encouraging. As a teen, Kastel used the money he saved up from caddying to take summer classes at the Art Students League of New York.

After high school, Kastel served in the Navy during the Korean War. Upon his return home he resumed his studies at the Art Students League. He started out with very humble jobs to pay his tuition; he swept floors and made deliveries at NYC studios. Later Kastel did black and white newspaper ads for Reddy Kilowatt advertising company. Next freelancing for NY advertising agencies, he was making story boards by day and still taking classes at the League by night. He studied with Edwin Dickinson, Sidney E. Dickinson and Robert Hale. The greater part of his education is attributed to Frank J. Reilly. While still a student, Kastel created a book cover for a contest: this piece became his first published work for Simon & Schuster Pocket Books. Another of his early works won first place for the National Board of Fire Underwriters, a piece which was used for many years.

Early in his career, Kastel married and moved to upstate New York, where he and his wife raised their two children. At this time, he was busy creating covers for Bantam Books and often went in to NYC with his finished works. During one of these meetings, his publisher said “Read this book over the weekend and bring me a cover. It’s going to be a bestseller.” Kastel did a sketch for the art  director with a Sharpie and was told to “do it that way and make it more realistic.” Thus, he created the iconic cover of Jaws and soon Universal Pictures asked to buy the rights to make this their movie poster. The book cover was banned in Boston and St. Petersberg (the female swimmer is nude) and Kastel thought this might end his career. It did not! Soon Lucas Films called from Hollywood and hired him to create a poster for Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.

Kastel has been a highly sought-after artist ever since. He has done commissioned pieces for many art collectors and admirers.

Kastel was an active member of the Society of Illustrators, where he has work in their permanent collection. He is currently a member of  The Artist Fellowship and the WSA. He has paintings in private and corporate collections and exhibits in galleries and group shows. He feels privileged to have his work included in the book 200 Years of American Illustration as well as The Illustrator in America 1860-2000.






Wellesley Society of Artists