Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday Safari - Chicchirichì and Cock-a-doodle-do

They are loud, brave and proud, with feathers bright and ready to fight...

Vyaceslav Legkobit, Hto shto malyuє. Kto chto risuet, 1968,
thanks to another great post from Kickcan and Conkers

poster by Waldemar Swierzy for Cepelia, Polish arts and crafts stores, 1999

Coq by Roger Excoffon, 1963

illustration for Dummy magazine by Herr Mueller

Stig Lindberg's ABC, thanks to Fine little day

Rooster candle holder by Lotta Galve and Bengt Lindberg, thanks to The Art Room Plant

illustration by John Alcorn from The Fireside Book of Children's Songs, 1966

Roosterlimited edition sculpture by Eric Carle

Gallo e cestaMichele Ranchetti, 1960

Gallo by Sebastiano Ranchetti, 2006

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Mad Men and Crazy Critters, 3rd episode – La Révolution Savignac

The Poster bears the same relation to the fine arts as freestyle wrestling does to good manners.  

Most of Animalarium's visitors are likely already familiar with Raymond Savignac (1907-2002), 
one of the most celebrated French poster artists of the past century. He is also one of my favorites, 
thanks to the graceful spontaneity, cleverness and gentle humor of his works. Savignac left school 
at 15 and went to work as a draftsman and commercial artist. He started designing posters in 1935 
under the direction of the great Cassandre, and in the next ten years developed his own unique style. 
Fame arrived in 1949, thanks to Savignac's collaboration and exposition with Bernard Villemot
and to his famous design for Monsavon milk soap.

Cinzano and Quinzaine de la laine, 1951.

Sommeil = Equilibre and DOP journées des enfants propres, 1953.

Savignac viewed commercial art as "optimism at its most absurd", and "the creation of a fleeting image 
which people will not forget". He was very successful at putting these ideas into practice, and his 
trademark style based on bold, surprising, happy and colorful illustrations was much appreciated. 
During his long and prolific career, he designed over six hundred advertising posters for companies 
like Air France, Olivetti, Piaggio, Renault and Perrier.

Tricotez Pingouin, 1958, and Renault 4CV, 4 places, 1959.

Tintin Orange, 1962, and Omo enrichi, 1963.

Savignac spent the last 23 years of his life in Trouville, a small resort town on the coast of Normandy, 
and created numerous posters for local events. These late works are still as fresh, bright and cheerful as ever,
 showing no sign that he was in his eighties and saw himself as "an old brontosaurus who does a job that 
no longer exists for a species that's well on its way to extintion" (from an interview with Le Monde, 1986).

La Fête, 1977, Galerie Delorme, 1990, and Championnats d'orthographe, 1992.

Today Trouville displays his works in the Montebello Museum, on a beachfront walk dedicated to him, 
and on wall murals around town. The ever ironic Savignac had called the art world's celebration 
of his commercial work "nonsensical", and told Le Monde that he would have never created 
advertising posters, had he known that people would regard them as high art. 
The illustrated book Savignac s'affiche was published in France in 2008.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday Safari – Nurtured by the forest

For the past week, leaves have been falling all around us. 
Under the trees, the ground has turned into a crunchy luscious multicolored carpet. 
 Today we made a big fire of yellow, orange and rust colored leaves.

Bird and Fish by Yalos Alanya, thanks to Hautenature

Sea fishes are nurtured by the forest and Be a Happy Camper, ads by Norito Shinmura

illustrations for La Casa Roja by Violeta Lópiz

illustration made of blossoms, leaves, roots and twigs by Herr Mueller

cover for the Italian edition of Bestioles by Jephan de Villiers

The Swell Season poster by Doublenaut, thanks once again to Grain Edit

Bird Roots by Claire Scully at the quiet revolution

Hójaros by Javier Jaén

Regal Buck and Snake in the Grass by Hanna Stouffer

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Free as a bird, warm as a bug

It's easy to fall in love with Beatrice Alemagna. The delicate touch and poetic beauty of her illustrations
 and children's stories masterfully play their tender melodies on the powerful chords connecting
 the eye to mind and heart. Beatrice writes books that deal with strong and important themes
 and emotions such as tolerance, loneliness, love and the difficulties of growing up and fitting in,
 but she does so with a lightness and simplicity perfectly attuned to her young audience.
 Her enchanting world is pervaded with the magic atmospheres, secret joys and warm scents 
of a childhood cherished and embraced.

Stitched fabric illustrations from Mon amour, Autrement Jeunesse 2002

Beatrice was born in Bologna, Italy, and studied at ISIA school of graphics in Urbino. 
At 23 she won first prize at the Figures Futur illustration competition in Paris, where she went to live
 soon after. Her motivation for moving to France owed much to the appeal of its publishing world,
 which is strongerlivelier and more innovative than its Italian counterpart (luckily, things here
 have been recently changing with the emergence of a number of small but very active and courageous
 independent publishers like orecchio acerboTopipittoriZoolibri and Corraini).
Since then Beatrice has published over twenty books with many important publishers in France and abroad,
winning prestigious awards like the Andersen prize and a special mention at the Bologna Ragazzi awards
 in 2007 for A lion in Paris (published in France by Autrement, and just recently in Italy by Donzelli).
 She was also selected three times as a finalist for the Prix Baobab for best
 French illustrated book of the year.

Etching illustration from Je voulais une tortue, Panama 2005

Pencil and collage illustration from Les corbeaux de Pearblossom by Aldous Huxley, Gallimard Jeunesse 2005

Gouache, pencil and collage illustrations from Un lion à Paris, the story of a lonely lion
 looking for love, adventure and a sense of belonging in a big and too often indifferent city.

Oil, pastel, acrylic and collage illustrations from Omega et l'ourse
by Guillaume Guéraud, Editions du Panama 2008

While Beatrice's artistic style is always very personal, her media and techniques vary according
 to the particular mood and narrative requirements of the story she is illustrating.

For the past 11 years, Beatrice has also illustrated the posters

for the children's movie festival at Centre Pompidou.

Until the 25th of November, the Parisian bookstore and gallery Artazart (one of the best place
for all things design and illustration) is exhibiting the lovely artworks created for the new book
Au pays des petits poux (Bugs in a blanket, Phaidon Press). Beatrice developed this new illustration technique
 involving felted wool, fabric, stitching and applique while searching for ways to evoke the dusty
 and hairy cozyness of the old blanket where her story takes place. The book addresses issues
 of tolerance and identity through the charming and funny tale of the struggle of a colony
 of little insects to come to terms with their different appearances.

Here at animalarium I tend to focus mostly on images, but if you understand Italian take the time
 for a visit to Le figure dei libri, a beautiful blog dedicated to illustrated children's books.
The author Anna Castagnoli (herself an illustrator), who I also thank as the source for some
 of these pictures, has dedicated a whole series of insightful posts to Beatrice, including an interview
and in-depth descriptions and analysis of her works.


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