Art, More Accessable

Yesterday’s post got me thinking generally about famous illustrators, which of course led me down another tangent.  There is a longstanding tradition of artists applying their talents to commercial projects that I, as a consumer, really appreciate.  It’s pretty cool to be shopping or leafing through a magazine and see a famous artist’s work.

mucha moet and chandon

An Alphonse Mucha Moet and Chandon menu

As far as I can tell, the tradition really became popular during the Art Nouveau era.  Even though Art Nouveau was a fantastical, elaborate style, it was a strangely practical movement.  The style infiltrated utilitarian objects such as writing implements, furniture, and of course the original Paris Metro signs.  Artists not only worked on sketches and paintings, but lent their skills to restaurant menus, liquor advertisements, and theater posters.  Even the most famous of all Art Nouveau artists, Alphonse Mucha, did this.  In fact, his Absinthe Robette poster is one of his most well known works.  If you’re incredibly wealthy and looking for something more tangible of Mucha’s, he also tried his hand at designing jewelry.  The pieces are marked his characteristic details of winding natural elements.

An Alphonse Mucha necklace

Speaking of jewelry, one of my favorite examples of an artistic crossover comes from a Van Cleef and Arpels advertisement.  I could rattle on for a very long time about how Van Cleef and Arpels wares are themselves art in its highest form, but it would take a very long time.  One of the house’s most iconic ads was done by fantasy illustrator Adrienne Segur.  I love the ad because it’s design manages not to take away from either the artist’s work or the jewelry itself.

adrienne segur van cleef and arpels

Adrienne Segur’e Van Cleep and Arpels ad

Other times, the fashion world collides with the art world the other way around.  Iconic art deco designer Paul Poiret (the subject of an awesome show at the Met a few years ago, by the way), actually produced a small collection of art prints.

Both the art and fashion world were all atwitter when Ruben Toledo, one of the most well known fashion illustrators, collaborated on book covers for three tried and true classics:  Pride and Prejudice, The Scarlet Letter, and Wuthering Heights.  The highly glamorized books surely got some people who wouldn’t normally read the old stuff to crack them open.

Ruben Toledo’s cover for The Scarlett Letter

Commercial artistic collaborations not only give the average fan a chance to keep a piece of their favorite artist’s work, but they greatly increase the visibility of the artists themselves.  I’m also grateful for the chance to get a shot of art in my books and fashion magazines, which are, after all, much cheaper than travel fare to a major museum.

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This entry was posted in Art History, commerical, Illustration and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Art, More Accessable

  1. Hi, i think that i saw you visited my blog so i came to “return the favour”.I am trying to find things to improve my blog!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

  2. zoki says:

    Nice post. I learn something tougher on different blogs everyday. It would always be stimulating to read content from other writers and observe a bit of something from their store. I’d desire to use some with the content material on my blog whether you don’t mind. Natually I’ll offer you a link on your net blog. Thanks for sharing.

  3. write_light says:

    Would you have any idea of the DATE of that Van Cleef & Arpels / Ségur ad?

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