Famous Oyster Bay painter Mort Kunstler puts works on display in Huntington

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One of America's most accomplished painters hails from Oyster Bay and is putting some of his career's works on display.

Danger, adventure and mystery are just a few words to describe the historic paintings of Mort Kunstler.

In the 1950s, '60s and '70s, Kunstler created thousands of illustrations for pocket magazines known as "pulp fiction."

"They wanted exciting covers, and of course they were competing with other magazines on the newsstands," says Kunstler.

The magazines' racy titles and sensational stories sold well for decades. Now the bold illustrations from inside them are on display at the Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington until November.

"It was just one after another. It was a lot of work, but I loved every minute of it," says Kunstler.

The exhibit is a big draw for "Godfather" fans -- Kunstler illustrated scenes from Mario Puzo's "The Godfather." Puzo and Kunstler were friends from working on the pulp fiction magazines together.

Producers loved his illustrations so much that they ended up casting actors that looked like the pictures he had drawn.

Kunstler is also known for creating advertising art and movie posters, including those from "The Hindenberg" and "The Taking of Pelham 123."

The 92-year-old says he has no plans of slowing down.

"It's the great racket in the world - I just have fun and people pay me to do it," says Kunstler.

 

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