Considered by some to be the "greatest cover artist of them all," Avati was born in Bloomfield, New Jersey in 1912. He was a Fifth Avenue department store window display designer, a soldier in World War II, and an illustrator for magazines such as Collier's and The Ladies' Home Journal before breaking into paperback illustration in 1948. He produced dozens of covers for New American Library, notably for the Signet (including many well-known works of American authors) and Bantam lines.
Medium: His realistic, often emotionally-charged paintings were based on photographs which he took himself, done in oil on prepared hardboard, heavily influenced, he claimed, by the films he saw as a youth.
- Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye by Horace McCoy (Signet, 1949)
- Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood (Signet, 1952)
Come to the Cabaret, ol' chum, and check out a decidedly earthier Sally Bowles...
- The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone by Tennessee Williams (Signet, 1952)