Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Marshall Arisman on Francis Bacon

"...Bacon was a major influence on me. In the late Sixties, figurative art-- the fine arts, particularly-- was dominated with no emotion. If you think about Andy Warhol's silkscreens of Elizabeth Taylor, there were figurative elements floating around, but they were not intentionally emotional. Bacon was one of the few painters that was living that I could find who was purely emotional to me. I didn't care what they were about. I could feel them, so I kind read them through my stomach instead of my eyes. And like any influence, if you look at anything it's got to influence you. And when you do that, you are aware. Everyone is aware. That influence is showing up, and then you've just got to live with the idea that I am not Francis Bacon. We've lived different lives, so I've got to believe that influence will be a composite of all of it. But it's hard, particularly in the illustration world, because people want to categorize."
- Marshall Arisman (read the rest here)

"In 1968, I saw my first Francis Bacon exhibition at the Gugenheim Museum. Starting at the top, wandering down the spiral walkway, I could feel those paintings enter my body through my nerve endings. When I reached the main floor I understood that contemporary paintings are an experience of emotions that enter the spectator on more than one level. Like a writer telling more than one story at a time, Bacon confirmed my belief that figuration does not have to be one story, one narrative."
- Marshall Arisman (read the rest here)

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Amir Shaabanipour

Another find from the International Children's Digital Library (see also this post). Amir Shaabanipour is an Iranian painter and illustrator. He was born in 1979, studied at Azad University, Tehran, produces these wonderfully inventive pictures for children's books - and that's about all I can tell you.

Frances Jetter

Frances Jetter is one of many illustrators in All the Art That's Fit to Print (see last post) of whom I was previously unaware. There doesn't seem to be a great deal of information on her out there, but she does have a very nice website with lots of images.

All the Art That's Fit to Print (And Some That Wasn't)

Frances Jetter

Roland Topor

Ronald Searle

Marshall Arisman

Ralph Steadman

David Levine

This should be required reading for anyone who wants to make a living as an illustrator. Jerelle Kraus was art editor of the New York Times Op-Ed page for thirteen years, and All the Art That's Fit to Print (And Some That Wasn't) recounts her time there, working with some of the best illustrators in the world - most of them, actually - and the frequent rejection or "killing" of artwork by capricious and fearful editors. Several images that were originally turned down appear for the first time, including the one of Kissinger by David Levine (above).

The quality of the artwork is way beyond almost anything in the UK press. All the more remarkable considering the Times is, in Kraus's words, "staid" and "canonical". There's quite a few more examples on Kraus's website.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Jan Lenica

Finally gave up waiting for the exchange rate to improve and ordered a copy of Jan Lenica: Labirynt from here. He might just be my favourite of the Polish poster designers. Someone really should put out some more of his animated films (see this post) - there isn't even much on Youtube. Lots more on Lenica at these sites: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.