Sunday, January 24, 2010

Contemporary Victoriana

Raquel Aparicio, personal work

I notice the Victorian era seems to be a common inspiration in illustration of late. High collars and Daguerreotypes abound. You see in with the bright colours and ubiquitous, geometric, crystalline shapes or anthropomorphism or other trope which gives a new, contemporary and perhaps surreal spin.

Shary Boyle
2005. Porcelain, china paint. 20cm tall. Collection of the National Gallery of Canada.

Check out the portofolio of French illustrator Nancy Peña:

Nancy Peña Deux illustrations à l'encre de chine (two illustrations in china ink)

Nancy Peña 'Le Sofa' illustration à l'encre de chine

Nancy Peña 'Le motif dans le tapis' Illustration autour de l'album Tea party, à partir d'un motif de Verneuil

Historic figures are ubiquitous, and often blue-faced in the work of self-trained California artist Mike Maxwell.

Mike Maxwell Ellis Island Blues, 2007

Mike Maxwell Pressures of a Nation, 2008

Mike Maxwell Oh, These Chance Encounters, 2009

Blogosphere favorite Lisa Congdon is another self-trained California artist. You should check out the other sections of her portfolio too. It's filled with wildlife, text and multimedia.

Lisa Congdon Rose

Lisa Congdon Randolph

Lisa Congdon Levi

Interesting figures appear in the illustration work of the previously featured German artist Olaf Hajek.

Olaf Hajek Folklore Old Flowers

Olaf Hajek Editorial for Osterraets

Olaf Hajek Chopin

My motivation for depicting Victorians is the history of science, and the golden age of exploration.

pasteur 031
minouette, Louis Pasteur, lino block print on kozo, 2008

Ada, Countess Lovelace
minouette, Ada, Contess Lovelace, lino block print on kozo paper, 2009

Darwin on Galapagos
minouette, Darwin on Galapagos, lino block print on gampi paper, 2009

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