Presenting the esoteric work of The H Lazarus. Born in Venice, Italy, Lazarus studied Fine art at The Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna (Academy of Fine Arts of Bologna), where she first started to explore the themes of Surrealism, Cyberpunk, Angiography, Mythology and Technology. Working with them concurrently she started to find parallels and where their paths crossed. Working in this manner Lazarus has succeeded in producing some very expressive and compelling imagery. As well as this personal artistic exploration, since 2011, she has been a member of Italian comic collective Manticora Autoproduzioni.
Californian Illustrator Bill Cone is well known for his sensational pastel artwork and his ongoing contribution to Pixar Animation Studios. He studyied Painting at San Francisco State University before going on to study Illustration at Art Center College of Design. After his graduation, Cone embarked on a career as a landscape painter and for over 17 years he has exhibited annually, both in group and one-man shows.
Cone is both a Production Designer and Teacher at Pixar. He has produced lighting studied, worked as a storyboard artist, background painter, and character designer. On top of all these roles, for over 10 years, Cone has taught light and color classes to the Pixar alumni. He has contributed to successful animations such as Toy Story (1995), A Bug’s Life (1998), Toy Story 2 (1999), Ratatouille (2007), and Up (2009). Interestingly, it was during work on A Bug’s Life that he started using pastels to do lighting studies. Enjoying them very much and seeing their speed benefits, he decided to use pastels in his personal work too.
You can see much more of Bill Cone’s wonderful artwork on his blog, which he couples with eloquent and verbose descriptions.
Swedish freelance illustrator, Andreas Bennwik, has worked with a plethora of large brands including Volkswagen, Micheline, Audi, EMI, McDonalds and Paradox Interactive. He has produced illustrations for advertising, packaging, video games and book covers. Some of his book cover highlights including Nancy Drew, Famous Five and The Hardy Boys.
With such a large body of work, it may amuse you to know, I actually stumbled on his work after seeing a piece he is working for the upcoming film, Kung Fury. I cannot wait to see the finished poster, and the film for that matter.
His realistic renditions allow for some wonderful juxtapositions and satire. This is explored particularly in his editorial work. Some of Bennwik’s illustrations are rendered so well, that you have to double take, making sure it’s not a photograph you are looking at.
To see more of Andreas Bennwik’s work head over to his website.
Last week saw the launch of the National Portrait Gallery’s new major exhibition, Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends. This exhibition focuses on John Singer Sargent’s more personal and experimental paintings. Portraits of prominent actors, writers and musicians of the day. Many of whom were his close friends, including sculptor Auguste Rodin, artists Claude Monet and writer Robert Louis Stevenson.
This major exhibition of over seventy portraits spans Sargent’s time in London, Paris, Boston and New York as well as his travels in the Italian and English countryside. Important loans from galleries and private collections in Europe and America make this an unmissable opportunity to discover the artist’s most daring, personal and distinctive portraits.
As an extra treat, throughout the exhibition’s run, it will be accompanied by a range of events including lectures and life drawing.
Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends is on now and will be concluding on the 25th of May. This is without doubt a must-see exhibition. I highly recommend, if you can, that you make time to go see it.
Amid much of Paul César Helleu’s lifetime he was famous on both sides of the Atlantic. His artistry was praised by fellow impressionist painters Manet, Monet and Renoir. Yet, his name seems is less widely known to the public today.
Helleu was an exceptional oil painter, a skilled draftsman adept in pastel and maestro of drypoint. He was an influential part of the Impressionist movement, who created many still lifes, landscapes and portraits, most famously of beautiful society women of the Belle Époque.
Born 1859 in Vannes, Brittany, France. Helleu went to Paris to begin his academic training in art. At age 16, he was admitted to the École des Beaux-Arts where he studied with Jean-Léon Gérôme. Attending an Impressionist exhibition he met artist John Singer Sargent, James McNeill Whistler, and Claude Monet for the first time. The showcased works were modern, employing the bold alla prima technique. All of which made a lasting impact on Helleu.
After graduating, in order to make some money, Helleu started working for Théodore Deck hand-painting fine decorative plates. All the while Helleu was becoming more and more discourage. He had not sold a single painting and was on the verge of abandoning his studies. Upon hearing this, his now close friend, John Singer Sargent went to Helleu, priased his techniques and bought a one of his pieces for a thousand-franc note.
In typical artist fashion, after being commissioned to paint a young socialite named Alice Guèrin, Helleu feel in love with her and two years later they were married. They became part of French social elites, and Guèrin would introduce Helleu to many aristocratic circles of Paris.
In 1885, on a trip to London, Helleu was introduction to James Jacques Tissot. This meeting opened up Helleu’s eyes to the possibilities of drypoint etching with a diamond point stylus directly on a copper plate. Embracing this technique wholly, Helleu would apply his same dynamic pastel style to his etching. His prints were very popular, with the advantage to create several proofs, people would often give them to friends and relatives as gifts. Over the course of his career, Helleu produced more than 2,000 drypoint prints.
Reaching a celebrated status internationally, in 1904 he was awarded France’s highest decoration, the Légion d’honneur. On top of this recognition he was also made an honorary member of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts.
In 1920 Helleu exhibited his work in New York City, but the experience brought a sudden realization for him that the Belle Époque was over. Helleu felt that his had lost touch and after his return to France he destroyed nearly all of his copper plates. However, a few years later he started planning a new exhibition with Jean-Louis Forain. Sadly the exhibition never came to fruition when in 1927 Helleu died.
There is a few places you can find out more about Paul César Helleu, a nice collection of his work and more information can be found here and here. There is also a beautiful book of his work by Frederique de Watrigant both in English and French.