A fan of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, illustrator Maya Hahto from Tampere has been inspired by the cover art of old paperbacks, which feature bold, experimental, and at times even outrageous illustrations. Hahto’s exhibition comprises printed paperback books that first appear to be vintage novels, but a closer inspection reveals them to be fake – the pages are empty. Hahto has used the digital illustration app Procreate to create the covers of the imaginary books.
With the exhibition, Hahto is commenting on the lack of appreciation for book cover art. Hahto believes that stock photographs are too often used on book covers instead of illustrations created by professional artists. The creators of book covers are also often left uncredited, and their work is ignored in reviews, advertisements, and other communications. In Hahto’s exhibition, the situation is reversed.
Maya Hahto has been nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Fan Artist presented by the World Science Fiction Society in 2018 and 2021.