Style Icons: Male »David Downton

Fashion Illustrator

If you’re a fashion lover, the sketches of David Downton are likely familiar even if you don’t know the name. One of the most inspiring and visible fashion illustrators working today, Downton is going to become more well known with his new lovely looking book, Masters of Fashion Illustration (which features many other illustrators as well).

A hard working freelance graphic artist for years, who according to his biography was “wagging (his) tail when the phone rang”, he eventually found a niche in the fashion world that has resulted in some of the most beautiful modern portraits of the world’s most beautiful women.

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Posted on October 16, 2010

Style Icons: Male »Daniel Spoerri

Food Artist

With art and food intermingling so much (chef’s are probably more well known today than our greatest working artists) and people enthralled with all things food related, lately this viral video of food rotting, I thought of posting about Daniel Spoerri, in interesting artist whose medium was the aftermath of meals. He called his works “snare-pictures” described as “objects found in chance positions, in order or disorder (on tables, in boxes, drawers, etc.) are fixed (‘snared’) as they are. Only the plane is changed: since the result is called a picture, what was horizontal becomes vertical. Example: remains of a meal are fixed to the table at which the meal was consumed and the table hung on the wall.” He’s world renowned as a major figure in 20th century art but a new name for me personally that I am currently a little obsessed with.


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Posted on September 26, 2010

Style Icons: Male »Hans Silvester

Photographer

Well, fashion week had some inspirational styles, but the images that have been most profoundly inspiring to me this week are the tribal photographs of Hans Silvester that I came across. These floral adorned people are from the Surma and Mursi tribes of East Africa’s Omo Valley and the subject of Silvester’s book Natural Fashion: Tribal Decoration from Africa. Their makeup and accessorizing serves no purpose except to be creative, daring, and inventive.

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Posted on September 18, 2010

Style Icons: Male »Fernando Botero

Colombian Painter

The work of Fernando Botero is a family favorite and I grew up looking at his lush, abstracted portraits of exaggerated fat people. He’s never questioned his choice in subject and is simply drawn to the forms. Far from a novelty, though his paintings are exquisite and recently he gained acclaim for his politically volatile Abu Ghraib paintings. He is Columbia’s foremost artist and considered “the most Colombian of Colombian artists”.

Photo credit Roel Wijnants Fotografie

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Posted on August 22, 2010

Style Icons: Male »Christian Berard

Theatrical Artist

Christian Berard seems like the kind of guy I would have loved being friends with. He was a prominent gay artist who with his lover, Boris Koshno was the toast of the fashionable Paris crowd of the 20’s and 30’s. A renowned costume and theatrical scenery designer, Berard’s paintings have a distinct style that found a home in the  fashion world where he painted for magazines like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.

He is probably most well known for his considerable contribution to cinema with his dreamlike designs for Jean Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast.

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Posted on August 1, 2010

Style Icons: Female »Isabella Rossellini

Unique Beauty and Renaissance Woman

Isabella Rossellini is so inspiring in her fierce individuality. She does the projects she wants to do and always with grace and humor. Whether starring in a David Lynch film, making short films about animal mating habits, or guest starring as the Arby’s roast beef loving ex of Jack on 30 Rock, Rossellini is constantly entertaining and one of our most interesting beauties – a woman who puts the rail thin vacant eyed stars of current young Hollywood to shame.

Most recently she’s been lending her eye to a line of Bvlgari handbags that are lined with her own snail print design. While I can not dream of affording the simple but slightly funky bags, I love that she’s making them and keeping her career interesting.

If you want to have a mini Isabella festival I recommend Blue Velvet, The Saddest Music in the World, and her Green Porno series and go ahead and throw in one of my favorites of her mother, Ingmar Bergman’s filmography, Gaslight.

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Posted on July 18, 2010

Style Icons: Male »Malick Sidibe

Malian Photographer

I randomly cam across an image by Malick Sidibe the other day and was instantly taken and mesmerized by the vibrant portrait photographers work. From Mali, Sidibe is most famous for his 1960s photos of youth culture in Bamako, Mali’s largest city that was, at the time undergoing immense changes (Mali had gained independence in 1960 then became a socialist state which was later overthrown at the end of the decade.)

The images are not only historically interesting but, for lack of a better word, amazingly cool. Fashion inspiration abounds.

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Posted on June 13, 2010

Style Icons: Female »Louise Bourgeois

Spiderwoman

While I’ve yet to see one of her famed outdoor pieces in person, the work of Louise Bourgeois in its sci-fi, daring disquietude is stunning to behold. Surely an icon for anyone in the sculpture and art fields, Bourgeois was 98 when she passed away from a heart attack last week. Considered the grand dame of contemporary art, she left behind a legacy of highly personal and unique art.

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Posted on June 6, 2010

Style Icons: Male »Frank Frazetta

R.I.P.

I normally don’t like to repeat recommendations here on Brix Picks and Frank Frazetta has already made two appearances before (once as an entry, once as a best of), but the man is my absolute favorite and I am just heart broken to hear of his passing. The true master of fantasy illustration, Frazetta brought to life a world of curvy, sword wielding women and large, death dealing warriors that as a child inspired me like no one else to go into making art (well, except for my dad, who introduced me to Frazetta with his huge, worn books that I would pour through in the basement).

Pour through a few of his best pieces below/after the jump and afterwards, be sure to watch or re-watch his most excellent animated masterpiece, Fire and Ice.

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Posted on May 16, 2010

Style Icons: Male »Guy Bourdin

Provocative Photographer

As a devoted Helmut Newton lover, I am a little shocked with myself for having so little knowledge about the equally provocative fashion photographer Guy Bourdin. Lucky for me, my photographer brother in law touts an impressive collection of Bourdin’s books to school me.

His career is beyond impressive, from Man Ray‘s protege to Vogue contributor to a legacy as one of the industries greatest artist (though a reluctant one). Am dying to see an older BBC documentary about him called Dreamgirls: The photographs of Guy Bourdin, but seems it can only be seen in segments on youtube for now (must watch this weekend). For now, enjoy a small collection below/after the jump of his work.

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Posted on May 2, 2010

Style Icons: Male »Louis Wain

Cat Lover

Who knew that the world’s biggest cat lady was in fact a man? Louis Wain began his career as a cat artist after a beloved pet got his wife through the pain of suffering from cancer. His anthropomorphous illustrations were quite popular in their day (being the 1880’s) and I’d die for one of his annuals. Sadly, he was struck by severe and escalating mental illness in his later years – a case that surely lends credence to the theory that toxoplasma can cause changes to human personalities – a theory expounded on in a fascinating Parasites  episode of Radio Lab. Wain didn’t stop painting and drawing cats while he was institutionalized and his work took on a wild psychedelic and geometric turn. I am surprised his work has not been embraced by the outsider art loving community like Henry Darger’s.

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Posted on April 25, 2010

Style Icons: Male »Salvador Bartolozzi

Spanish Comic Innovator

I have simply fallen in love with the quirky style and unique color sensibility of Salvador Bartolozzi. While he may not be a household name here in the US, he was a famous innovator in Spanish comics in the 1920s. His work and career are well worth a look for any fans of illustration. Another great discovery from favorite blog Journey Round My Skull.

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Posted on April 4, 2010

Style Icons: Female »Vali Meyers

Witchy Woman

While the art of Vali Meyers isn’t quite up my alley, I was fascinated with this witchy, tattooed enigma from the first photos I glimpsed of her which, admittedly, was only recently – the Australian artist, despite an impressive list of friends (Dali, Tennessee Williams, and Jean Cocteau to name a few) and a semi-permanent Chelsea Hotel address, just wasn’t a household name stateside.

Aside from her painting, Meyers was a tightrope walker, a tattoo artist who marked Patti Smith, and a muse. Below/after the jump are just a few images of the striking and truly unique beauty that passed away at 72 a few years ago.

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Posted on March 28, 2010

Style Icons: Male »Roland Topor

Artist and Renaissance Man of the Surreal

There’s so much awesomeness to admire in the career of Roland Topor that it’s hard to know where to begin. As a visual artist he’s created surreal and creepy magic. As an actor he was Renfield in Herzog’s Nosferatu and had a cameo in my favorite Yugoslavian filmmaker, Dusan Makavejev’s Sweet Movie. As a writer his novel The Tenant was adapted into the fantastic Roman Polanski adaptation and as an designer he (along with Rene Leloux )created one of the most visually stunning animated films of all time, Fantastic Planet. I’m in awe.

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Posted on March 21, 2010

Web Sites »James Blagden

Brooklyn Artist

It’s hard not to be taken in by the vibrant, off-kilter art of James Blagden. His website is deliriously fun and, like me, he’s a Colorado native moved to Brooklyn.

Below/after the jump are a few of my favorite images.

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Posted on February 14, 2010

Hunks »Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein
Pop Artist

Based on his incredible body of work, one might not expect Roy Lichtenstein to be such an aristocratic looking silver fox, but a fox he was! Those deep eyes that tell you he reads more intelligent newspapers than you, that jawbone that lets you know that he’s tasted finer wine than you could dream of, and those cable knit sweaters that prove that he’s not afraid to indulge his good taste. Of course, this is all speculative, he was also known to have a grand sense of humor telling interviewers, “that he wanted to make an art so despicable that no one would hang it” and ”I wouldn’t believe anything I tell you.” A lovely man.

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Posted on December 26, 2009

Style Icons: Male »Boris Vallejo

boris vallejo
Spank Bank Fantasy Art

Fantasy art with a sexual bent (flying centaurs copulating mid air; mermaids doing it underwater): there’s lots to love about Boris Vallejo. I’ve been sharing some of his art with the world over at Rotating Corpse with “Your Daily Boris” which I believe may have single handedly flagged my site as not safe for work, getting it blocked by my office servers. But man, is it worth it. His own site also has an extensive image gallery along with the work of his wife Julie Bell. If you’re already a fan or especially if you’re not aware of his work, make sure to head over there or check in with RC for my on going series.

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Posted on December 26, 2009