Calef Brown’s Lecture and His Inspirations (Part 2)

To continue an overview on Calef Brown’s lecture, you might find the part 1 at here. Brown describes his experience in buying the secondhand books through visiting the local flea market occasionally. Some of the books turned out his inspirations in many ways, in styling, concept, composition, character design, colour, etc. He mentions some artists’ name, and this rouse my curiosity and interest to find out his muses by doing some quick researches:

J. J. Grandville
J. J. Grandville (1803–1847) was a French artist known for his satirical caricatures, vivid imagination and extraordinary skillful illustrations. It was Les Métamorphoses du jour,  a series of seventy lithographs drawing human-animal hybrids (Fig. 1), first made him famous. He switched his focus from political caricatures to book illustration (Fig. 2 to Fig. 5), due to the prior censorship of caricature in 1835. You might found his works in Pinterest which are uploaded by his fans.

Fig. 1. There is Honor among Thieves, Cent Proverbes, 1845.

Fig. 2. J. J. Grandville, Crown Imperial Fritillary, 1847.

Fig. 3. J. J. Grandville, Les Fleurs Animée, 1847.

Fig. 4. J. J. Grandville, Lorck Verlag Leipzig, 1847.

Fig. 5. J.J. Grandville, Forget Me Not, ‘Les Fleurs Animees’, 1847.

John Alcorn
John Alcorn (1935–1992) is a multidisciplinary artist whose versatile works involved in graphic design, commercial art and children’s book illustration. Through his website, I realize many of his works (Fig. 6 to Fig. 12) appear in various styles, including flat colour, water colour, typography driven design, and black and white line drawing.

Fig. 6. John Alcorn, The Trumpeter, 1968.

Fig. 7. John Alcorn, Pepsi, 1969.

Fig. 8. John Alcorn, Vegetables, Fish, Insects and Gardening Tools, 1959.

Fig. 9. John Alcorn, Pepsi In Tavola, 1973.

Fig. 10. John Alcorn, Uomo Meccanico, 1973.

Fig. 11. John Alcorn, La Colazione dei Campioni, 1973.

Fig. 12. John Alcorn, Sacharov, 1973.

Franciszka Themerson
Thermeron’s  website describes herself as an artist, film maker, illustrator, theatre designer and book designer. Her abstract art style (Fig. 13 to Fig. 17) offers a sense of satire and feeling of madness. I personally like her Figure on Black (Fig. 13) the best simply because of the way she handles the negative space — an ambiguous side profile.

Fig. 13. Franciszka Themerson, And So It Goes, 1977.

Fig. 14. Franciszka Themerson, I’m All at Sea, 1974.

Fig. 15. Franciszka Themerson, Figure on Black, 1974.

Fig. 16. Franciszka Themerson, Drawing, 1946.

Fig. 17. Franciszka Themerson, Concord, 1962.

Karl Wirsum
Wirsum is a talented American artist. He prefers applying flat colouring, in conjunction with line art, sometimes in using digital media. His art style comparatively seems cutting-edge, satirical and creative (Fig. 18 to Fig. 21). More of his thoughts can be found through this interview.

Fig. 18. Karl Wirsum, Uh-Oh! Missed the Last Armadillo Outta Here, 2013.

Fig. 19. Karl Wirsum, Fat Snowball’s Chance, 2013.

Fig. 20. Karl Wirsum, Hand Me Down Sumi, 1986.

Fig. 20. Karl Wirsum, Untitled (Study for a Playboy illustration), 1969.

Fig. 21. Karl Wirsum, Mr. Whatzit on the Road to Burmashave, 1985.


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