The Malicious Satyr.
Following yesterday’s post, a little more about British illustrator Alan Odle. A cursory search between work sessions today yielded a variety of Odle drawings but not the illustrated edition of Candide I was hoping for. The examples here are all taken from Pinterest, and I believe the ones towards the end are from Candide but that’s only a guess. In a reversal of the usual state of affairs, Odle’s career has been overshadowed by that of his wife, Dorothy M. Richardson, a Modernist novelist of some note. But the neglect has been addressed recently with the publication in 2012 of a monograph, The Life and Work of Alan Odle by Martin Steenson. Mark Valentine reviewed the book at Wormwoodiana. Some of Odle’s drawings are for sale at the Victor Arwas and Chris Beetles galleries.
Continue reading “The art of Alan Odle, 1888–1948”
“The artist at home” from Alastair: Illustrator of Decadence (1979) by Victor Arwas.
More Beardsley derivations in the form of some illustrations by Hans Henning Voigt (1887–1969), better known as Alastair, and an artist who more than anyone carried the Beardsley style and the fin de siècle ethos into the 20th century. If the photograph above is anything to go by he seemed to take Beardsley’s effete and languid characters as role models for an equally effete and languid manner.
The drawings here are a selection from twelve pieces for a 1920 edition of Prosper Mérimée’s Carmen, the novel upon which Bizet based his opera. Alastair for me has always been an artist whose enthusiasm for his subject matter outpaced his technique, his figure drawing can be rather weak at times which perhaps explains some of his more eccentric costume designs. Every so often the weakness becomes a virtue when it provides a surprising composition. Carmen didn’t seem to inspire him as much as other works, his illustrations for Oscar Wilde’s Salomé are a lot better and I may post some of them here if I can find a way of scanning my Victor Arwas book without spoiling it. There still isn’t much else of his work on the web but S. Elizabeth did make a start recently with her post A Decadent Parade of Outrageous Fancies at Coilhouse.
Continue reading “Alastair’s Carmen”
The Kosher Guide to Imaginary Animals by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer (and sporting my design inside and out) is now in print. The grotesque creatures on the jacket and inside are from a celebrated set of prints by Arent van Bolten.
• More VanderMeeria: my cover for Jeff’s novel Finch continues to garner attention. Artist John Picacio selected it as part of his contribution to this discussion of genre cover designs (thanks John) and io9 followed up by choosing it from SF Signal’s selection.
• Graphic design: the Ballets Russes at BibliOdyssey; Julian Montague’s “books from an invented intellectual history” at A Journey Round My Skull; Women, Snakes and Stalkers, book covers from the PK (Indo-Iranian languages and literatures) section of the University of Chicago’s Regenstein library (also here); I want this book: Arabesque – Graphic Design from the Arab World and Persia.
• Photography: Richard Davies’ documenting of Russia’s wooden churches; Dave Walsh’s fata morgana mirages in the Arctic.
• Illustration: Jacob Escobedo at Sci-Fi-O-Rama; Mahlon Blaine reprinted.
• The gays: Oliver Frey (aka Zack) has originals of his erotic art for sale; 100 is the third book of erotic portraits from photographer Dylan Rosser.
• Silent Porn Star is back. Related: Susie Bright praises sexual expression.
• The Libel Reform Campaign is trying to reform England’s egregious libel laws. Sign their petition here.
• RIP: Victor Arwas, art collector, writer and scholar; Alex Chilton, musician and record producer.
• The record sleeve that’s also the record player.
• Song of the week: Guess I Was Dreaming by The Fairytale (1967).