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This is the first in a series of my influences outside of comics. Hope you find as much inspiration from these artists and designers as I do… Cheers!
“Art Nouveau (“New Art” in French) can trace its beginnings to precepts akin to William Morris’ Arts and Crafts movement in England, the attempt was to eradicate the dividing line between art and audience. Everything could and should be art.”
“Burne-Jones designed wallpaper, Hector Guimard designed metro stations, and Alphonse Mucha designed champagne advertising (at right) and stage sets. Each country had its own name for the new approach and artists of incredible skill and vision flocked to the movement.”
“Mucha produced a flurry of paintings, posters, advertisements, and book illustrations, as well as designs for jewelry, carpets, wallpaper, and theatre sets in what was termed initially the Mucha Style but became known as Art Nouveau (French for ‘new art’). Mucha’s works frequently featured beautiful young women in flowing, vaguely Neoclassical-looking robes, often surrounded by lush flowers which sometimes formed halos behind their heads. In contrast with contemporary poster makers he used pale pastel colors.”
“The 1900 Universal Exhibition in Paris spread the “Mucha style” internationally, of which Mucha said “I think [the Exposition Universelle] made some contribution toward bringing aesthetic values into arts and crafts.” He decorated the Bosnia and Herzegovina Pavilion and collaborated with decorating the Austrian Pavilion. His Art Nouveau style was often imitated. The Art Nouveau style however, was one that Mucha attempted to disassociate himself from throughout his life; he always insisted that rather than maintaining any fashionable stylistic form, his paintings were entirely a product of himself and Czech art. He declared that art existed only to communicate a spiritual message, and nothing more; hence his frustration at the fame he gained by his commercial art, when he most wanted to concentrate on more artistic projects.”
“Mucha’s name became a household word and, though his name is often used synonymously with the new movement in art, he disavowed the connection. Like Sinatra, he merely did it “my way.” His way was based on a strong composition, sensuous curves derived from nature, refined decorative elements and natural colors. The Art Nouveau precepts were used, too, but never at the expense of his vision.”
Mucha is one of the godfathers of illustration. His simple, elegant linework combined with the lush watercolor and very “correct” drawing has influenced such modern comic book as Joe Quesada, P. Graig Russell and Brandon Peterson.
The Organica Lounge CD cover is my homage to Mucha and probably the closest I’ll get to touching the hem of his garment. All due respect to a true master.