An action packed 1965 oil and tempura painting by Harry Schaare, that appeared as the cover of the Pyramid paperback Harlem Underground written by the author known as Ed Lacy. Lacy was a pseudonym for Leonard S. Zinberg who explored themes of racial prejudices and injustices throughout his fiction. In this work, Lee Hayes, a rookie policeman with youthful looks and a street smart sensibility, is sent undercover to infiltrate a teen gang known as The Bloody Blacks whose members have begun committing violent hate crimes in the wake of the Harlem race riots, murder of Malcolm X, and day-to-day hardships of life in the ghetto. The book is notable for its sensitive and complex treatment of what leads oppressed communities to violence, even as it presents a harrowing picture of lawless mayhem.
Along with his work as Ed Lacy, Zinberg also wrote under his own name, and contributed to mainstream magazines like Esquire and Colliers under the name Steve April. A life-long leftist with ties to the Communist party, the use of these pseudonyms helped him avoid much of the blacklist challenges and McCarthyist hardships faced by authors who dealt with gritty social questions in their work during the 1950s and 1960s.
A biography of the prolific paperback cover artist Harry Schaare courtesy of askart.com
Few artists have ventured into as many different areas in art making as illustrator Harry J. Schaare In addition to his graphic works he is a regular illustrator for such magazines as Readers Digest and Aviation Week and is a frequent designer of book covers, having worked for practically every major paperback publisher in New York. He even painted the macquette for a “Star Wars” bedspread.
Born in Jamaica, NY, in May 1922, he attended N.Y.U. School of Architecture, and graduated from Pratt Institute in 1947. He served as pilot in the Air Corp during WWII and has since traveled around the world as artist for the U.S. Air Force.
Prolific artist for hard and softcover books (Avon, Harper Paperbacks, Dell, Monarch, Popular Library, Pyramid, Bantam, Signet, Readers Digest, Random House). Magazine work for Saturday Evening Post, Boy’s Life, Sports Illustrated, and various men’s adventure mags. Schaare was comfortable with just about any subject matter, from noir stories to westerns, romance to suspense.