Wednesday, February 2, 2011

discussion: favorite artist right now!

Please tell the class about your favorite artist - or your favorite artist right now! Include:
1 - Some biographical information
2 - At least 3 images of their work - as attachments or embedded.
3 - Something about their process and the concepts in their work.
4 - Why they are important to you as an artist right now.

René Gruau- Italian


René Gruau strongly impacted the way high end fashion was advertised. Not only was he a painter and illustrator, he also collaborated with the designers as they created the clothes. I think it's interesting that Nicole mentioned Toulouse-Lautrec in regard to my work, because Rene Gruau strongly referenced the old world luxury of the days of absynthe and Moulin Rouge.
One thing I didn't know (or deduce rather because it makes sense) is that Rene Gruau collaborated with Christian Dior on the New Look. I'm not going to say which is the chicken or the egg, but the New Look parallels women leaving the factories and getting back in the kitchen, post-war 1940's (it actually came out in 1947, I believe) The characteristic's are sloped shoulders, a corseted waist, a ridiculously full skirt with a below the knee hem. It's basically June Cleaver. Dior and Gruau also came up with the pencil skirt which is back HUGELY especially for spring!

René Gruau illustrated for all the absolute top magazines of his time and created the first real cross over between fine and fine fashion arts, paving the way for collaborations such as Warhol and Tiffany's. His work is also owned by top museums and collectors including the Louvre. And recently there was a retrospective show up at the London Fashion Illustration Museum.

Why it's important to me right now is because the materials and the subject have a nice equal relationship. He uses the physicality of ink or charcoal or paint to create fabric or feathers or features but they don't lose their art supply properties in illustrating. They are elegant and clever and bold, sexy but classy. They defined the times but also are artifacts of that time. I mean really, what is not to love?

I also think it's interesting because I'm obsessed with Abstract Expressionist New York, and this art was being made in the same town at the same time as DeKooning was scratching out his women and Motherwell was politically collaging up a storm.




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