This is a post dedicated to what I've been admiring on-line and doing off-line.
First of all, I've been very much enjoying the collections at New York's fashion week. There's been a lot to like! Something that really caught my eye though was this utterly lovely fabric that designer Monique Lhuillier used for her evening gowns. It's malachite, isn't it? Swoon!
I have also just finished (*sniffle*) watching possibly the very best detective series/ noir thriller I've ever seen in my life. It's from Britain and it's called The Shadow Line. I cannot begin to tell you how incredibly gripping, exciting and well done it is. The story begins with the murder of an underworld drug lord and the rest of the eight part series is about the subsequent investigation by both the police and the criminals he associated with into who murdered him. It sounds like a fairly ordinary detective series, doesn't it but it is really dark, dark, dark stuff and I loved it! Here is the trailer for it and here are some clips and info about it on the BBC website. ...and here's a mostly spot on review of it from The Guardian.
...and Rafe Spall. Wow wee - my new favourite British actor!
I've also just finished series two of The Hour. You can read my review of the first series here. This second series is much, much better but still deeply flawed. Again, it was very lovely to look at, but the plot...hmmmm. Still, when the plot started to irritate, there was always the lovely Bel and her wardrobe to admire! I mostly don't agree with this gushing review of it on The Guardian.
I've also finally started reading a book I've been keen to start for ages: Don DeLillo's Underworld. If you haven't read it, it's an enormous historical novel about the bomb, the Cold War and a baseball amongst other things. The story opens in 1951 at an important baseball game in New York that is being watched by Frank Sinatra, Jackie Gleason and J. Edgar Hoover. It then jumps forward to 1992 and then goes back and covers the decades between. There's a good review of it here. So far, I'm thoroughly enjoying it.
These pretty line illustrations and typography drawings are by one of my all time favourite Art Deco artists: George Barbier. I scanned them from this awesome book I got as a Christmas present. It is packed full of practically every illustration he ever did. It's quite a big book as he was incredibly prolific. How nice is that?
I think I've often admired the work of American artist David Stone-Martin, but I haven't known his name or the full extent of his influence on postwar graphic design and illustration. He is most closely associated with the illustrations he did for jazz records. As he illustrated over 400 album covers, I think that if you have any jazz records lying about you will find that the cover is more than likely to be by David Stone-Martin. Although he is most well known for his album covers, he also designed and illustrated posters, books, advertisements for film, television and the theatre and magazine covers. There is a very nice bio of him here.
He reminds me quite a bit of one of my favourite illustrators/ cartoonists Ronald Searle and perhaps that's because they both came up in the postwar era.
I love the colours he uses! How nice it would be to have these as enormous posters in your house!
An issue or two ago Vanity Fair had an interesting article about the Summer of Love and the San Francisco scene in 1967. You can read the article here. It was interesting for me because it, amongst other things, talked about the poster artists who were quite an important component of the whole scene. The four most influential artists working in San Francisco were Wes Wilson, Stanley Mouse, Alton Kelley and Victor Moscoso. Of course, the other big name in psychedelic art was Sydney boy Martin Sharp, but he was working across the Atlantic in London at that time. I did a post about him a while back which you can read here.
So, for your viewing pleasure I have collected together a selection of my favourite posters from that era. Happy Sunday!
Stanley Mouse and Alton Kelley
Posters by Victor Moscoso and bottom right, the man himself.
Only a hermit in the remotest part of the Tibetan Himalayan foothills would not know that the London Olympics had begun. Although, I wouldn't be surprised if even these hermits all had iPhones and were watching it live via The Gaurdian website. Anyway, all the Olympic hoopla inspired my search for past Olympic posters. Which is your favourite? Mine is, without a doubt, the 1976 Montreal poster featuring the funky beaver. It's totally out there!
If Shadow Shot Sunday was a party, I'd be arriving just as the hostess was emptying out the ashtrays and calling a cab for the last stray party goer. Yes, I am very late today with my shadow shot but, well, better late...e.t.c e.t.c.
This is part of a sign outside a small but well known and respected Paddington art gallery. I thought the sign was just made for a Shadow Shot Sunday post!
Shadow Shot Sunday is a meme set up and organised by Tracy of Hey Harriet! If you'd like to participate, all you have to do is read the instructions here!
This beautiful creature is by Czech artist Alphnose Mucha (1860 - 1939). I think if you were to look up the definition of "Art Nouveau" in the dictionary, you'd just find a painting by Mucha there. No other explanation needed. I think he is the grand master of Art Nouveau. My mind boggles as to how he managed to tame all those floaty elements in his paintings and make them look natural and "correct".
...and it's Friday, so here are my Friday links for your viewing pleasure!