Etienne Delessert

Originally born in Switzerland, and now residing in Connecticut, Delessert creates work that could be summed up in one word: unnerving. Upon visiting his website, one of the first sentences written in to his biography states the following.

“For more than thirty years this self-taught artist has been translating his-and the world’s-ideas, passions, fantasies and nightmares into the visual language of books, magazine illustrations, posters, animated films, paintings and sculptures. He reaches both children and adults with his imaginary creatures and landscapes, juxtaposing the familiar with the fantastic to clarify this world and create new and lasting universes”

~ etiennedelessert.com


Ok. Reading this the fist time, I thought to myself, “Yeah. Yeah! That seems like a normal artists statement.” And then I reread it, and reread it again, because something didn’t sit right with me. Later I realized that it was the use of the word “nightmares” in such close proximity to the phrase “reaches both children and adults.” I let this sit for a moment while I clicked my way over to the gallery portion of his self-titled website. And then I understood.

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Although Delessert’s most identifying pieces are geared towards children, there is an undeniable uncomfortable quality to every single one of them. Sometimes it’s as simple as the unnatural colours of his characters eyes, or their strange, elongated features. It’s hard to put it into developed, educated words, but let me try and explain to you how these pieces make me feel.

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It’s almost like these scenes all occur in the opening scenes of CSI Miami, or even worse, Law and Order. There’s always the sense that you’re watching something that you’re not supposed to; or that you’re doing something immoral by observing the scenes Delessert creates. That aside, though, these creepy illustrations have appeared in over 80 books, translated in over 14 languages, and have sold millions of copies world wide. So I’m seemingly alone in the whole crime show sentiment, and the public and professional world is enamoured with his work.

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So much so, that his website states: “Twice he was honored by the Premio Grafico of the Bologna World Children’s Book Fair. His illustrations have appeared in leading magazines and newspapers such as The Atlantic Monthly, Le Monde and The New York Times. His animated films include the adventures of the endearing Yok-Yok and creations for Sesame Street.” 

His illustrative work’s reputation surpass the threshold of expectation. Delessert boasts a one man retrospective housed by the Louvre, as well as a separate travelling collection that now lives in the Library of Congress in Washington DC. His autobiography, titled “The Blue Bear”, was published by Slatkine Editions in 2015. Perhaps the most remarkable fact of his career is that Etienne is self taught. Still working as an illustrator, his process changed from an entirely traditional approach to a combination of tactile mediums and digital methods. His primary goal of his career, he states, is “to create stories that make children ask questions.” And whether the viewer is a child or adult, there is no denial that Delessert’s work does exactly that, and will for the rest of his promising career. That being said, his work is creepy as hell. Just saying.

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http://www.etiennedelessert.com/bio.php

Ben Shahn

Ben Shahn is most well known for his fine art, illustrative and literary works. He was born in Lithuania to parents Joshua and Gittel, but his family was exiled when he was four for revolutionary activities of his father. Continuing his families ideals of speaking out against political injustices, Shahn’s work took on this very characteristic and would for the rest of his career.

He would study at the National Academy of Design, where his main interests would lie in lithography, graphic design, and egg tempera painting. During his travels Shan studied European masters but afterwards shifted his efforts toward a realist style that served as a vessel for his social/political commentary. This came to light in the form of a 23 piece series detailing the case of Sacco and Vanzetti, two Italian-American anarchists. Two Italian men had been convicted for murder and were sentenced to execution by electric chair after  only a couple hours of deliberation. Afterwards, the case was deemed unconstitutional due to instances of racial-prejudices, refusal of retrial and disregard for political civic liberties.

Shan’s work was heavily influenced by current events as often as it was by the people he surrounded himself with. Walter Evans, Shan’s temporary roommate, worked alongside Dorothea Lange to document the Great depression in rural america under the Farm Services Administration. Evan’s influence can be seen in Shahn’s unflinching confrontation of the human figure, and his acknowledgment of flawed facial features. The same could be said for Mexican painter Diego Rivera. with the depiction of the human form and facial expressions, as well as the politically charged images that appeared in both Shahn and Riveras works. Shahn would assist Rivera with his Rockefeller mural, and would go on to apply Riveras methods to numerous federal mural commissions.

Following the Great Depression, Shahn worked for the Office of War Information. The OWI hired him to create anti-war pieces, but the companies idea of the sentiment differed greatly from Shahns. His pieces lacked the essential nationalistic views that the company advertised, and as a result the OWI would only publish two of his posters. . Afterwards Shahn changed directions and worked with large scale “general” publication companies, including CBS, Time, Fortune, Harpers, and others. Going forward, Shan set high bars for himself. Post OWI, he only accepted commissions that aligned with his moral values.

After the 1940’s, Shahn changed styles from what he called “Social Realism” to “Personal Realism,” which has been described as “a universal expression through the devices of symbolism and allegory, the stylized line, and the colorful palette…he could evoke worlds with a single pen stroke or color overlay.”

In summary, Shahn’s reputation lives on in that he was a powerful political activist who prioritized citizen voice. This is unquestionably displayed in his works surrounding Jewish identity, citizen voice, war protests, and civil political liberties. He inspires countless generations of artists who came after him, his unique style and combination of colour and line gaining a timeless reputation.

Sources:

https://www.wnyc.org/story/ben-shahn/]

https://www.museothyssen.org/en/collection/artists/shahn-ben/identity

https://www.invaluable.co.uk/auction-lot/ben-shahn-silent-music-275-c-c4d612b72e

https://www.moma.org/collection/works/64565

http://www.museivaticani.va/content/museivaticani/en/collezioni/musei/collezione-d_arte-contemporanea/sale-28-e-29–il-secondo-novecento-negli-stati-uniti/ben-shahn–the-burial-society.html

https://www.wsupress.wayne.edu/books/detail/ben-shahns-new-deal-murals

https://www.artic.edu/artworks/194744/this-is-nazi-brutality

Milton Glaser

“A modern renaissance man — one of a rare breed of intellectual designer-illustrators, who brings a depth of understanding and conceptual thinking, combined with a diverse richness of visual language, to his highly inventive and individualistic work.”

~(miltonglaser.com)

When you think of iconic mid-century design, you think of Milton Glaser. Responsible for some of the most iconic images of North American advertising, Glaser continues to create even today into his late 80’s. He’s the man behind the “I <3 NY” logo, the Bob Dylan poster, and more recently, Trumps famed “Space Force.”

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He began to build a name for himself with the co-founding of Pushpin Studios (1954) in collaboration with Seymour Chwast, and would continue the reputation he built for himself by once again cofounding the New York Magazine in 1968. In 1977 he would design the most commonly used logo of all time, the famous I Love NY. Originally Glaser had been bored of the project, not finding a singluar design that did the idea justice, and came to a point where he decided to do the work pro-bono. Thats right, Glaser did not receive a cent for what is now one of the most easily recognizable images in the world. He ended up scrawling down something in the back of a taxi cab and calling it a day.

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Originally used to boost citizen morale and the general conception of what was a ratty and crime-stricken New York, Milton created the logo. In efforts to push the image into the public eye, the city decided to withhold copyright claims for a number of years. When they finally did, the crackdown on public use was so intense that even Milton got sent a cease-and-assist letter for using his own design.

Glaser boasts a prolific portfolio consisting of  almost 400 works, including “posters for Lincoln Centre, Carnegie Hall, Juilliard, the Holocaust Museum…  Cooper Union, the Philadelphia Zoo, the 1984 Olympic Games, the Van Gogh Estate… the Metropolitan Opera, Bob Dylan, and others.” (hyperallergic.com)

A short overview of his accomplishments includes, but is not limited to:

  • Designing over 50 magazines,
  • Remodeled Washington Post, La Vanguardia, O Globo
  • Created over 400 promotional pieces in his career
  • Graphic and Architectural Design
  • 2004 Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2009 National Medal of Arts

In the way of the psychedelic 60’s, Glaser contributed many influential pieces to the world of music. His work for Bob Dylan remains one of his most iconic works, but also proudly owns works for Aretha Franklin, and others. The work is trademarked by his signature limited colour palette, flat, islamic inspired geometry, and countless historical/artistic references that show through each piece. In a modern sense, Glaser showed his expertise in the realm of 60’s design when he created the graphics for the final season of Mad Men, debuting in 2015.

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Although one would typically end a post like this with the classic “In summary…” it’s hard to put the works of Milton Glaser in to a few simple sentences. Only a small part of his career has been covered in this post, and there are years and years worth of revolutionary design that comes with the name “Milton” attached to it. He is often regarded as one of the most influential designers to date, and for good reason. He is equal to the likes of Saul Bass, Paul Rand, Peter Saville, and others, and will always be regarded as a pioneer of modern design, as well as what it means to be a working creator.

Sources:

https://www.fastcompany.com/3043692/milton-glaser-reveals-how-he-made-the-legendary-bob-dylan-even-more-legendary

https://www.miltonglaser.com/milton/#3

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_art

https://www.fastcompany.com/3043692/milton-glaser-reveals-how-he-made-the-legendary-bob-dylan-even-more-legendary

https://www.fastcompany.com/90211323/designer-milton-glaser-nailed-the-logo-for-trumps-space-force

https://frieze.com/article/aretha-franklin-honoured-national-portrait-gallery-milton-glaser-work

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-07-27/eight-logos-for-trump-s-space-force-from-milton-glaser-and-more

http://www.pushpininc.com/gallery/original-illustration/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Love_New_York

http://www.miltonglaser.com/files/milton-16279-93.jpg

https://www.miltonglaser.com/thumbs/665×408/files/far/WHO-3807.jpg

https://www.miltonglaser.com/the-work/565/rubin-museum-of-art-logo-sketches/

https://www.miltonglaser.com/the-work/565/rubin-museum-of-art-logo-sketches/


Edwin Georgi

“His depiction of sultry, sensual femininity, with a bewildering palette of pearlescent hues, created a powerful image in fifties America – and one of impeccable morality. His quality of light was unique – the highlights burning with adjacent areas of pink and lilac. The reflected light he loved so much seemed to come from beneath, and scattered around the face giving an almost unearthly glow.”

~Tutt’Art
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What do you get when you combine pin ups, Monet, and science fiction lighting? Edwin Giorgi. If that equation doesn’t quite seem to add up, the proof is in the pudding; Giorgi was one of the few artists who were able to seemingly combine genres and pull it off effortlessly. At the same time, he appealed to the mass audience by creating works with exciting colour palettes and pop-culture centric images.

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For the most part he was self taught, and started his career in advertising and fine art. He possessed a degree from Princeton and left with the full fledged intention to become a writer, but his love of fiction and story telling led him down an alternate path of illustration. Starting out as a copywriter in an agency, he was told the cruel but essential phrase “You would be better as an artist.” Rough, yes, but this pushed him in the right direction.

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What made Giorgi stand out so much from his contemporaries was his dramatic depiction of light, colour, and feminine sensuality. Much like Russel Patterson, Giorgi created women who were powerful and sensual, strong in their emotions and structured as a crucial character within the scene. Paired with his expert illustration of light and colour, the figures worked with it to communicate a precise feeling and mood within the illustration. He does so marvellously, as the figures could easily be overtaken by the aggressive brushstrokes and unapologetic use of colour.

His career consisted of illustrations, personal commissions, advertising, and works that accompanied entertainment mediums as well. His work was extremely well received among the public, and his career was long and prosperous.

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https://www.tuttartpitturasculturapoesiamusica.com/2011/11/edwin-georgi-1896-1964-american-pin-up.html

http://www.americanartarchives.com/georgi.htm

Giovanni Pintori

“Pintori is considered the source of all the initiatives contributing to the Olivetti image: design coordination, graphics, typography, advertising image, sales-outlet design, and furnishing,”

(H. Waibl)

Giovanni Pintori is an Italian born designer and fine artist, most well known for his advertising work with Olivetti typewriters. He was born in Sardinia in 1912 to a dairy farmer. However, after pursuing art during his early education he was able to obtain a scholarship to the ISIA in Monza. Here Pintori studied under influential designers Marcello Nizzoli and Edoardo Persico.

It was post-graduation that brought Pintori to Olivetti, and after just three years with the company he was promoted to head of the Development and Advertising department. He designed countless ads that were suited to billboards, papers, advertisements in magazines, each one gaining Olivetti an impressive international reputation for the innovative and exciting ads. During the 1950’s alone he would be recognized for his work with solo exhibitions, awards, and honorary diplomas. as listed by storymarks.it;

“In 1950 he won his first of a series of awards: the Palma d’Oro of Italian Federation of Advertising..
In 1952, the MoMA in New York organized the exhibition Olivetti: Design in Industry, in which his work is widely represented.
In 1953 he joined the ACI (Alliance Graphique International).
In 1955, with an exhibition at the Louvre, a room dedicated to his work for Olivetti.
Also in 1955 received the Certificate of Excellence of Graphic Arts of AIG (the Association of American graphic designer) and the following year, the Gold Medal and Diploma in First Line Award Graphics and Fiera Milano.
In 1957 he was awarded the diploma of the XI Triennale Grand Prize in the same year he exhibited in London with the AGI.”

Pintori was best known for his use of color, geometry, and unexpected combinations of designs. His imagination and creativity set him apart from his contemporaries in huge way, as he truly was revolutionizing the idea of corporate identity.

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Pintori was able to create an exciting, dynamic brand identity for something that was perfectly suited to graphic design; type. More specifically typewriters, but his work was best known for his innovative use of type and integration into the image. Personally, I’ve heard and seen examples of the phrase “Type should work with the design, not just stand on top of it,” and no body of work better exemplifies this for me than Pintori’s. He worked with a bland object and made it exciting, desirable, and modern, and his designs fit all of the same attributes.

http://www.archiviograficaitaliana.com/designers/2/giovannipintori

http://www.storymarks.it/giovanni-pintori-un-genio-italiano/

Rose O’neill

Last summer, I spent a good amount of time rummaging through old things in our house. I was moving out for the first time, and I was fully engaged in the stereotypical teen-moves-out-for-the-first-time montage. I was emptying my parents costume trunk (which had been a go-to for halloween costumes for the majority of my childhood) when I came to the bare floor of the trunk. All the costumes were on the ground, the old wooden box empty, and staring up at me was this… thing.

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It wasn’t until further research that I discovered the importance of the naked child in my costume trunk, or his origins. The baby, more well known as the Kewpie, was created by Rose O’Neill in 1908. O’Neill was American illustrator most known for the creation of the character. She started out in rural Nebraska and from a young age harboured a love for fine art, illustration, and sculpture. Her illustration career started with an art contest when she was 13, entering and winning with a piece titled, “Temptation Leading to an Abyss.” At the age of 15, she was creating illustrations for local Omaha magazines, gaining herself a decent-sized reputation.

Her early works were extremely well done, composed, and were interesting to look at. From the start O’Neill’s characters had personality and presence. As seen below, the young woman emanates power and seduction, while the old woman appears cooky and senile. Even the cat looks pissed off, and the audience is able to learn about the scene and the exchange without seeing the article this illustration would have gone with. Rose’s work was consistent in this way, and it was what gained her so much respect in the illustration world. She could draw, and she could do it well, but instead turned to a much more exciting route with her comics and characters.

One of O’Neill’s earlier illustrations for an Omaha magazine.

In 1983, Rose and her father moved to New York City to help further her career. She joined the team at Puck magazine, where she was the only female on staff. While experiencing this, O’Neill became heavily involved in the “New Woman” movement, which focused on the central idea of women as strong independent figures in society. O’Neill accompanied many other female artists in this movement, including Violet Oakley. “

“[Female artists] played crucial roles in representing the New Woman, both by drawing images of the icon and exemplifying this emerging type through their own lives”

` Art historian Laura Prieto

It was during this time of suffrage and feminist movements that O’Neill started creating original artworks and not just magazine commissions. It’s here that the Kewpie came about, his name derived from the traditional “Cupid” of roman mythology. She incorporated the characters so often that O’Neill once stated; “I thought about the Kewpies so much that I had a dream about them where they were all doing acrobatic pranks on the coverlet of my bed. One sat in my hand.””

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The little cherubic characters were debuted in Ladies Home Journal, and as they gained popularity, would appear in Women’s Home Journal and Good Housekeeping. The comics style would become just as iconic as the beloved characters, and would become a signal of the mid-century comic. O’Neills characters were featured constantly getting into trouble and causing mischief in their little lovable way. Most importantly, they frequented advertisements and campaigns favouring women’s rights. The Kewpie’s may have seemed out of place on a Suffrage poster (as seen below) but were actually highly effective. The mischievous character who always ended up doing good was a well thought out placement. It was almost as if O’Neill was saying “Of course it’s going to be troublesome to get there, but everything will work out in the end.”

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Eventually the well loved characters would be produced in porcelain as one of the first mass-produced toys in America, and became a household, well loved toy. So well loved in fact, that it ended up in the hands of my dad. It still sits in the basement, but now on a shelf standing upright and not laying in the bottom of a costume chest.

On a personal note, I find O’Niell’s work very admirable. She really emphasizes the importance of consistency in ones style, harking back to the saying “If you’re everything, you’re nothing. ” Especiallly seeing her early work, with her expert draughtsmanship and technique, I always have respect for an artist who chooses heavily stylized work over impressive academic skill. Overall, I think the most incredible thing about Rose O’Neill was that she created a world and lived inside of it. She describes her Kewpies as “a sort of little round fairy whose one idea is to teach people to be merry and kind at the same time,” and conducted her life in that exact same way. Her work could be summed up by the same principles. Both her early and mature work was merry, kind, and jovial to say the least, which is what made the Kewpie so adored by the public in the end.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/prolific-illustrator-behind-kewpies-used-her-cartoons-womens-rights-180968497/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rose_O%27Neill

https://timeline.com/kewpie-doll-rose-oneill-480de6506035

Sanford “Sandy” Kossin

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“The art by this well-known illustrator will forever be preserved and it will remain an inspiration to other striving illustrators and artists of today and the future.”

~ MacArtherMemorial.org
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Sanford Kossin stands among a unique group of illustrators, ones that stand apart from the rest of history both in subject matter, style, and importance. Of course, I speak of the great post-war illustrators responsible for chronicling America in the late half of the 20th century. Among his contemporaries, Kossin provided his audience (as well as the present-day) with a unique interpretation of post-war culture, political commentary, and literature visuals all while doing doing so in an exciting colour palette. His collection of works is home to a wide range of clients, from “paper back book covers, science-fiction magazines, children’s books and magazines, and fiction art for Boy’s Life, Reader’s Digest, Saturday Evening Post, and others.” (macarthurmemorial.org)

Known as Sandy Kossin among his contemporaries, Kossin has been hailed as one of the greatest illustrators of the 20th century. Kossin started his artistic career with an education in the California Jepson Art Institute, and afterwards worked primarily in New York as an illustrator. However, Kossin’s prior service in World War Two would go on to influence every illustration created in his career, and would prove to be some of the most influential artistic commentary as the United States plummeted in and out of the Cold War and other international conflicts.

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Apart from subject matter, Kossin is most well known for his highly conceptual fictional content, as well as his striking dark line work and high contrast colour. He credits this unique approach to his work with lino-cuts at a young age. As seen above, Kossin developed a style that was bold, rough, and striking, all while maintaining his incredible skills of draughtsmanship and faithfulness to realism.

On a final note, during his peaking Kossin was, and still remains, an extremely important illustrator that helped break down the barrier between fictional illustrations and real-world events. He is equally recognized for his political commentary and for his science-fiction related drawings. Kossins unique style and ability enabled him to make a tangible difference in the every-day home, not just in the lives of avid-readers or art collectors.

https://www.macarthurmemorial.org/147/Sanford-Kossin

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?96297

https://www.societyillustrators.org/sandy-kossin

Russel Patterson (1893-1977)

Many of us know that the iconic image of 1920’s fashion isn’t truly representative of the everyday citizen of the time. The average woman was not walking around draped in glass beads and with a parabola for an eyebrow. Much like the Gibson girl or the Arrow Collar man the flapper is a character made to sell products, experiences, and most prominently, a lifestyle. Russel Patterson was instrumental in creating the image of the flapper. He illustrated bold, desirable women who emanated fun and powerful sexuality, an image that previous to the 20’s was viewed as more taboo than not. Pattersons work teeters on the edge of pornography, but somehow still manages to keep the woman in a powerful position. Many of the other artists creating similar work at the time made the woman weak and powerless. Patterson reversing the roles set him apart from his contemporaries.

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In his childhood Patterson was confident about his career path, claiming from his teenage years that he wanted to become a magazine cover artist. However, he would attend McGill University for architecture, do cartooning work, and have a full career in interior design before attempting to join the army and getting rejected. It wasn’t until after an extremely expensive pleasure trip to Paris that he would decide to pursue illustration full time, and would do so at the Art Institute of Chicago. For a time Patterson attempted to work as a fine artist but struggled in creating work that was suited to the prestigious gallery environment.

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Patterson became frustrated with not seeing eye to eye of those in the fine art world, and in 1925 and decided to seek fresh ground in the artistic centre of the universe; New York City. He started to inject the glamorous culture of Paris into his illustrations, and appealed to the taboo humour of the American audience by making his subject matter blatantly suggestive and dynamic. He brought his lively characters to the covers of College Humour, Life, Ballyhoo magazine, and many more in the following years

His illustrations served not only as comical images, but soon became inspiration for clothing, creating that distinct appearance among New Yorks upperclassmen that is still known today. Pattersons women were however more revealing than the average women on the street, and his influence presented itself in the real world in a much more subdued nature. Specifically shape-wise, as Pattersons women had defined waists and hips, and the real trends were virtually the opposite.

When speaking of Patterson’s style, there are a few key words that come to mind. Its as if he is the child of Aubrey Beardsley and Rea Irvin, with his simple line work, taboo topics and high contrast use of flat colour. His compositions certainly fit the era of Irvins New Yorker illustrations, but his characters and subject matter is rather like that of black-sheep Aubrey Beardsley (and by extension, Will Bradley).

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As the 1930’s approached and Pattersons fame was on the steady increase, he started to design sets for Broadway shows and musicals which were known for their elaborate and complex designs. This job of his was short lived, and when the Depression took hold of America Patterson had to turn away from the stage. Instead, he turned to department store window sets for the likes of Macey’s and I.J. Fox, as well as continuing his illustrative advertisements.

During World War 2 Patterson continued to build his multi-faceted reputation. While creating a comic strip of his own, he also designed the Women’s Corps uniforms, train and restaurant interiors, as well as hotel lobbies.

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Russel Patterson was one of the lucky illustrators who, although their work was heavily set in the style of the luxurious 1920’s, was able to continue building a name for himself throughout the Great Depression and the War. The public was enthralled by his curious and powerful characters. Additionally, his humour translated well into the years after the stock market crashed, keeping the attention of the suffering public. Pattersons comical sexuality was entertaining, and wasn’t at risk of being shut down with changing times. He was almost the opposite of contemporary John Held Jr, and evolved with the times to find work that suited the demands of the changing public.

Personally, I find Patterson’s work enthralling. Although heavily sexualized and most likely degrading in some senses, I find his work entertaining and funny. I think the difference between him and previous artist’s I’ve explored who focus on taboo topics like these is that Patterson never makes the woman weak. By no means are his works feminist or anything along those lines, but it is refreshing to see the depiction of the woman change. Perhaps thats why the public kept their attentions on him and not on his contemporaries. Additionally, I find that his diversity of skill ranging into all aspects of design is extremely admirable and shows in his work greatly. His curious compositions in his illustrations transfer over to his stage work, his fashionable drawn characters inspire his costume and fashion design, and so on and so forth. It is always admirable to see a “Renaissance man,” excel in every avenue of their work.

Sources:

https://www.comixology.com/Top-Hats-and-Flappers-The-Art-of-Russell-Patterson/digital-comic/490256

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjW4bjl2YngAhUKs1QKHaDIDvEQjRx6BAgBEAU&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.comixology.com%2FTop-Hats-and-Flappers-The-Art-of-Russell-Patterson%2Fdigital-comic%2F490256&psig=AOvVaw27gL0OV6Xf3YRVuqyJsZcr&ust=1548532039091589 .

http://artofrussellpatterson.blogspot.com/

https://www.societyillustrators.org/russell-patterson

Bea Feitler

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Bea Feitler was a Brazilian-born art director and designer who is most recognized for her revolutionary photographic concepts that appeared on the likes of Ms, Harpers Bazaar, Vanity Fair, and Rolling Stone Magazine. Her work can be summarized as professional, fun and youthful while still maintaining the essence of class and sophistication. Her work primarily featured female subjects, and being one of the few female art directors of the time, Bea was able to capture her models in a profound yet honest fashion.

“Bea Feitler only lived 44 years, but filled them with energy, enthusiasm and a passion for life and design. Hundreds of people attended her memorial service, and as a living tribute her friends and family established the Bea Feitler Foundation, which funds a full one-year scholarship for a junior graphic-design student at the School of Visual Arts. She believed a graphic designer’s work matters because the culture is expanded and enriched by those who shape and form information. She is missed for the vision, passion, and vitality she brought to each day’s life and work and remembered for her profound contribution.”

~ American Institute of Graphic Arts, 1990
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Like many of her contemporaries, Feitler’s childhood was shaped by the after-effects of World War Two. Her Jewish parents fled Nazi Germany to Rio de Janeiro, where Feitler would be born in 1938. The War ended and the family moved to New York, where Feitler was introduced to the design that was embedded into the east-coast culture. She was enthralled by illustration, the ballet, fine art and fashion, hobbies which naturally led her into the world of design. She studied design at the Parsons School of Design, and would land her first major job creating album covers for Atlantic Records.

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At only 25, Fielter was appointed as an art director for the famous Harpers Bazaar. She had been working as an art assistant with former Parsons instructor Marvin Israel who was impressed with her work, and promoted her and fellow student Ruth Ansel to co-directors in 1961. This promotion launched her career into a seemingly unstoppable whirlwind of success. In the next 20 years Bea produced creative content for the likes of Rolling Stones, countless book designs, and most prominently, the Relaunch of Vanity Fair and the introduction of Ms. magazine. Her work with this companies was forward thinking and refreshing. Feitler was constantly creating innovative ideas that spoke to the female viewer directly, as well as appealing to the general audience with their dynamic visuals and expertly paired body copy.

Bea Feitler, Bill King, Ruth Ansel. New York, 1965.
From left to right; Bea Feilter, Bill King, Ruth Ansel, 1965.

Throughout her career Bea gained several reputations; she was full of energy and quick witted, kind and professional, and was always willing to foster talent where she saw it. She introduced famed photographer Annie Liebowitz to fashion during Feilters reboot of Vanity Fair. She paid attention to at the time student Keith Harring when nobody else would.

When recounting all of Feilters accomplishments, it’s hard to believe that her career only spanned 20 or so years. On April 8th, 1982 Bea lost the battle against cancer. Her absence was felt all across the art world, and she is still continuously recognized as one of the most influential art directors of her time.

Richard Doyle

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Growing up as the son of noted political caricaturist John Doyle, Richard grew up in his fathers art studio, absorbing any illustrative teachings he had to offer. Richard Doyle grew up in a creative environment, and aged with a love of the fantastical and the grotesque. Childhood consisted of a love of fairytales and stories, and would become his life’s work as he pursued his illustrative career.

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Doyle’s first published illustrations appeared in the Eglinton Tournament, a comedy set in the middle ages. The ornate, dark, and natural feel of Doyle’s work lended itself to the time period. It was a natural fit. Shortly after, he would collaborate with several artists to illustrate a set of Charles Dickens books, including The Chimes, The Battle of Life, and A Cricket on the Hearth. Once again this commission was perfect for Doyle’s style. Theres a traditional feel to his work, most likely because he originated the style, but the idea of Dickens and Doyle are almost synonymous because of it.

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Most prominently, and what solidified Doyle’s reputation, was his illustrations for the book “The Fairy Ring,” by the Brothers Grimm. From then on, Doyle was the go to name when thinking about fairytale illustrations. He provided the visuals for what are now the stereotypical images of fairies. Much like Howard Pyle’s creation of the typical pirate, Doyle was responsible for the modern day fairy.

The strange thing about Doyle’s career is that he was an extremely devout Roman Catholic. One wouldn’t expect a man of such intense faith to spend his life illustrating monsters and fairies, but that’s exactly what he did for many years. However, while employed under Punch he resigned his position when tasked with commissions that featured a theme of “papal aggression.”

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In summary, looking at an overview of Doyle’s work brought me back to many favourite childhood books. I hadn’t realized that Doyle basically formed the idea of the child-like fairy. Although seen before with previous artists and illustrators, Doyle left a lasting impression on the publics conscious in regards to the word “fairytale.” His dark, curiously fascinating world he created is most effective in the way that it is not covered in bright colours and sparkly characters. The illustrations make it appear as if this world is occurring at the same time as ours, in the corners of our gardens, in the middle of our forests. Reviewing his work, that’s exactly what I love the most about it, the mix between real and fantastic, and that my world could be equally as real and fantastic as Doyle’s.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Doyle_(illustrator)

http://www.artcyclopedia.com/artists/doyle_richard.html

https://archive.org/details/mannerscustomsof00doyl/page/n6

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Richard-Doyle