The art of Boris Artzybasheff, 1899–1965


Myths of the World (1930).

Boris Artzybasheff’s humorous illustrations of anthropomorphic machines have received a lot of attention from Boing Boing recently. But Artzybasheff was a very versatile artist, not a one-trick pony, and his book and other magazine illustration is worth a look as well. These examples are from the indispensable VTS. Some of his early magazine covers brought to light here have a distinct Hannes Bok flavour.


Seven Simeons (1937).

See also:
Artzybasheff’s Neurotica
Artzybasheff’s Machinalia
Another page of illustrations

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The illustrators archive

3 thoughts on “The art of Boris Artzybasheff, 1899–1965”

  1. Yes, very calligraphic. That style was quite popular with a number of illustrators for a while.

    I wonder if I’m the only one to detect what we might vulgarly call “a gay vibe” in Artzybasheff’s work. There’s no mention of his proclivities that I can find but I’m usually quite good at spotting gay work; I’d guessed that Hannes Bok was (well…his bio describes him as bisexual) before I read anything about his life. Some of Artzybasheff’s work resembles Bok, as I noted above, and George Barbier. That Seven Simeons story is one he adapted by himself and concerns a king who wants to find a queen who will be as pretty as he thinks he is himself. So he asks seven cute sailors…. That clanging sound you can hear is my gaydar alarm.

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