1. 16

    Jul 2014

    Eugène Grasset (1845 – 1917)

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    Alongside the Pre-Raphaelites, Art Nouveau is tied as my favourite art movement. I take every opportunity to see Art Nouveau exhibits, but to be honest, until recently I had never taken much note of Eugène Grasset. This is quite a large oversight, considering he has been called “The Father of Art Nouveau”.

    So who is this pioneering artist? Born 1845 (or possibly 1841) in Lausanne, Switzerland, Eugène Samuel Grasset was surrounded by creativity from a young age. His father was a cabinetmaker and sculptor, and little Eugène learnt to draw under the guise of Francois-Louis David Bocion. In 1861 he went to Zurich to study architecture at the polytechnical school. After which, in 1865, he took what would become an influential visit to Egypt. Throughout his twenties he devoted himself to painting and sculpture.

    At the age of 26 he arrived in Paris, influenced by his travels and a new found love for Japanese Art, Mr Grasset tried his hand at creating ceramics, tapestry, and jewellery. His decorative pieces were crafted from precious materials including ivory and gold. Much of this unique work is considered a cornerstone of Art Nouveau motifs.

    Mr Grasset would later gain recognition as an illustrator due to his contribution to the stories Le Petit Nab (1877) and Histoire de quatre fils Aymon (1883). Quickly moving on to applied arts he designed the facade of the Hôtel de Dumas in Paris, mosaics in Saint Etienne in Braire, and stained glass windows in the Orléans Cathedral. With a multitude of artistic ability to call upon Mr Grasset had a natural affinity to poster design. Fortunate, as French posters design was becoming very popular Stateside, so it was not long before he was contacted by various American companies. His successful commissions led to him illustrating the 1892 Christmas issue of Harper’s Magazine.

    Interesting footnote one of his images, The Wooly Horse, was so popular that Louis Comfort Tiffany was inspired to recreate it in stained glass.

    Mr Grasset spent much of his latter years teaching in various schools across Paris. Many of his students went on to become eminent artist themselves, unsurprisingly, a lot of them within the Art Nouveau movement. His versatility, instincts and ability not only influenced those whom he had taught, but also prominent artist like Alphonse Mucha, and left a stirring mark on the Arts and Artists that followed.

  2. 15

    Jul 2014

    Mary Lundquist

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    Mary Lundquist is an illustrator based in Los Angeles. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and is currently working on several children’s books. I assume, one at least, will be based on her character Bunny, whom can be spotted throughout her portfolio. Mrs Lundquist’s style utilise her soft pencil work by adding a simple wash of watercolours, giving her illustrations a real tranquil feeling.

    You can see more of Mary Lundquist’s work on her website.

    A quick thanks goes to our avid Lounge reader, Nicholas, whom bought Mrs Lundquist’ work to our attention. If you have a personal project, or have seen inspiring illustrator you want to shout about, you can email your suggestions to us via our contact page.

  3. 14

    Jul 2014

    Manga Mondays ~ Kyoung Seok Oh

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    Kyoung Seok Oh aka Alien1452, is a manga artist based in Seoul, Korea. Heavily involved in video games, he has previously worked on MMORPGs including Steal Fighter and Neo Steam. Kyoung Seok is currently working with game publishers Seed9.

    Mr Oh definitely has a nepotism towards female characters. Their personality vary from innocent to hard-nosed, but their physiques are always distinctly voluptuous. However, his renderings are varied, especially in his personal work, he does not seem to stick with one style or a set pallet. Mr Oh’s colouring definitely feels more experimental and expressive, and brings an extra layer of interest to his work.

    To see more of Kyoung Seok Oh’s illustrations you can check out his naver blog, DeviantArt page, and watch him work on Livestream.

  4. 11

    Jul 2014

    David Remfry

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    David Remfry was born 1942 in Worthing, England and is currently living and working in New York City. Mr Remfry graduated from Hull College of Art in 1964, and almost 10 years later, in 1973, he held his first solo show in London. Since then, he has had over 50 solo exhibitions across Europe and America.

    Through his career Mr Remfry has gained a highly regarded reputation as a draftsman and watercolourist. Best known for his practically life-size paintings, and his urban subjects. In 1987 Mr Remfry was elected a member of the Royal Watercolour Society. The honours did not stop there, in 2001 he was awarded the M.B.E. for services to British Art, and in 2006 he was elected a Member of the Royal Academy of Arts.

    Though David Remfry is distinctly a fine artist, having never worked in a commercial capacity, in 2002 Stella McCartney approached him to produce a series of drawings for her exclusive collection of women’s clothing for ABSOLUT vodka. A rather rare move as her contemporaries were exclusively using photography of glamour models. Yet, here was Stella McCartney using Mr Remfry’s drawings for billboard advertising. Mr Remfry embarked on the project not as a fashion illustrator, but as an artist. In doing so the focus was not solely on the garments, but on the person wearing them. His drawings had more expression and incorporated a more human element that can sometimes be missed in both fashion illustration and photography. The response was decidedly positive. So much so that in 2003 the Victoria and Albert Museum exhibited the work in a show titled, David Remfry Drawings for Stella McCartney.

    Sadly I haven’t found a single website that has a large body of David Remfry’s work. But you can find his pieces on places like Pinterest. You can also check out his book, David Remfry: Dancers, it has over 80 paintings and drawings spanning over 30 years of his artistic career.

  5. 10

    Jul 2014

    Alex Noriega

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    Alex Noriega is an illustrator and artist from Barcelona, currently living in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Best known for his wonderful webcomic Stuff No One Told Me. It ran from 2010 – 2012, and was a way of Mr Noriega expressing is frustrations, and as an emotional outlet. He always kept it light, no matter how serious the subject matter. His art style was simplified and in places abstract but with a child-like quality to it. The blog quickly became popular, and was packed with useful and thought-provoking advice.

    Near to the end of 2012, new SNOTM comics just stopped appearing. In true internet fashion rumours started to circulate as to the why. In 2013 Mr Noriega put an end to those rumours, announcing that he was still alive, but unsure whether he was going to produce any more comics, and that he had taken a liking to painting. Skip forward another year and Mr Noriega declared he was having a show featuring his painting work. His artwork is a mix of odd shapes, strong solid colours, with very little reference to anything physical. These abstract pieces are worlds apart from his webcomic, with the exception of them being another form to channel his emotions.

    Prior to Alex Noriega’s change in artistic direction there was mention of a SNOTM graphic novel titled, Anosmic. It was very nearly complete when he stopped working on the comic, and I do wonder if he still has plans for its release.

    To see some of Mr Noriega’s artwork check out his tumblr, and keep up-to-date with him by liking him on Facebook.

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