Cotta & Los Libros del Mirasol

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Juan Ángel Cotta’s vibrant book cover illustrations, now showcased together for the first time.

Founded in 2018 by graphic designer Francisco Roca and illustrator Leandro Castelao, Argentina and USA-based Flecha Books is an independent publisher that focuses on previously overlooked graphic materials. Their Cotta & Los Libros del Mirasol book showcases the work of Argentinian illustrator and designer Juan Ángel Cotta. More specifically, it brings together the book covers he created for the popular Los Libros del Mirasol series. Born in 1920 in Buenos Aires, Juan Ángel Cotta worked as a translator of major titles before establishing a successful career as a cartoonist and graphic illustrator. In 1959, he received the task of designing more than 120 book covers for Los Libros del Mirasol, or The Books of the Sunflower series.

The editorial collection featured some of the world’s most renowned authors, from Faulkner and Oscar Wilde to Pirandello. He worked on the series until his tragic death in a car accident in 1962. The Cotta & Los Libros del Mirasol book features all of his completed book cover illustrations: 103 vibrant artworks that showcase Juan Ángel Cotta’s mastery of bold shapes and color. Bright, dynamic, and gorgeously illustrated, the covers are distinctive but also tell a story. A huge success, Los Libros del Mirasol became popular not only in Argentina, but across Latin America and Spain.

To create this book, Flecha Books needed to track down hardcover copies in different countries. Over five years, they found, photographed, and digitally restored Cotta’s work. The bilingual (English / Spanish) Cotta & Los Libros del Mirasol features 103 color plates reproduced from high-res photos of the original covers. Complied for the first time, they come accompanied by a foreword by Steven Heller. The cloth-bound book has 176 pages and comes in a 3 PSM ink dust jacket at a price of $45. Photographs© Flecha Books.

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