Posts Tagged ‘posters’

Artist of the moment………..Alexey Brodovitch


Alexey Brodovitch was an twentieth century Russian/ American painter and photographer who was modern in his photography. Alexey Brodovitch was born in Oligotchi, Russian Empire in the year 1898.

His family was well off as his father was a doctor. Unfortunately his family had to flee their homeland to war and the upcoming Bolshevik revolution. Eventually the family would settle in Paris, France.

Brodovitch took a wife and found himself a job for the first time in life painting houses. He would take art classes and through his connections with other artists also earned money as the painter of ballet backgrounds. During this period he also would design textiles and jewelry.

The artist taught many well known modern artists keys to graphic design and advertising. In the United States most advertising art was very romantic in nature and linked to ideas from centuries past. Artists like Jessie Wilcox Smith were very popular. Brodovitch helped to usher in a modern era of American design that studied advertising examples that were popular in Europe, rather than the romantic realism.

Some of his students included famous photographers Diane Arbus and Richard Avedon.

In this clip a brief bio on Alexey Brodovitch with some examples of his work:

Alexey Brodovitch passed away in 1971.

Price range information: Works range from $5,000 to $50,000.

The artist was among the first to incorporate text and photos in magazine layouts. He was also an outstanding painter of landscapes in an abstract style. Add to his resume the many students who went on to have professional art careers and Brodovitch was a true master artist of the 20th century.

If you enjoy photographs and enjoy looking at photographs in sequences be sure and check out my post on Duane Michals. Michals uses photographs to tell short visual stories.



Artist of the moment……..Sandor Bortnyik

Sandor Bortnyik was born in Hungary in the year 1893.

For nearly one decade Bortnyik was in charge of the Academy of Fine Arts located in Hungary. Bortnyik was well known for his graphics design. The artist was known for his work with cigarette brand marketing designs.

In this clip a wonderful montage of works by Sandor Bortnyik:

Bortnyik passed away in 1976.

price range information: Works range from $5,000 for a print to $250,000 for an original oil.


Artist of the moment…….Stanley “Mouse” Miller

Stanley George Miller  is an American Icon when it comes to classic record designs. The artist got his start creating posters and album covers for the musicians of the 1960s. Stanley Mouse was born in Fresno, California in the year 1940.

The artist got the nickname “mouse” when he was in the 9th grade. Miller grew up in Detroit, Michigan honing his skills at the Detroit Society for Arts and Crafts.

An influential partner was Alton Kelly. Kelly and Mouse did several record covers together. Miller met Kelly upon moving to San Francisco in 1965. Kelly and Miller are given the credit for producing the iconic image of a skeleton with roses that serves as the logo for the band the Greatful Dead.

Two bands that Mouse worked with on many occasions were The Greatful Deal and Journey. 

In this clip a greater look into the life of Stanley Mouse Miller:

Here we view Mouse in action working on a portrait with current musician Valerie Orth:

Miller began his art career by running some very lucrative businesses. Miller was a master airbrush artist and made his own t shirts and helped to design and paint custom hot rod designs. Once again the use of the automobile in art! These businesses did awesome in California.

Mouse Miller is based out of California and continues to paint to this day!

What a great story! Its great to look back and study the t shirt  and airbrush artists of the 1950s and 1960s. Even Chuck Close falls into this category. I enjoy the stories on West Coast as many artists formed very profitable companies designing and making unique t-shits. Nowadays with the Internet these t shirts are taken for granted. At a time they were very artsy!

Price range information: Sorry none available.

We will be taking a closer look at other artists who worked in poster and record design in California such as the artist’s longtime business partner Alton Kelly.


Artist of the moment ….. Adolphe Cassandre

Adolphe Cassandre was a French artist renown for his work with posters. Adolphe Cassandre was born in Kharkiv, Ukraine in the year 1901 to French parents living in the Ukraine . Whilst a youngster the artist moved to Paris, France. He is associated with surrealism. For his artistic education Cassandre attended the Academy Julian and the Ecole des Beaux- Arts both located in Paris, France.

Price range information: Prints range from $1,000 to $40,000.

In this clip a brief selection of very famous posters by Cassandre:

Cassandre was not only a great artist, but also a great businessman. Cassandre was able to start his own advertising agency. Some clients include beverage companies and also travel companies.

A famous work of the Normandie ship, seen in the gallery, this poster has brought more than $10,000 at auction.

His company created new fonts and typeface in addition to painted images.

Also worked with magazine companies designing covers.

After World War 2 the artist got into theater set and costume design.

Adolphe Cassandre committed suicide in 1968 at the age of 67 years old.

Artist of the moment…..Rafael Tufino

Rafael Tufino was a wonderful artist from Puerto Rico born in the year 1922. Amongst his people Tufino was given the name “The Painter of the People.” The artist was born in Brooklyn, New York and lived in the United States until he was 10 and he went to live with his grandmother in Puerto Rico. Began his art career at the age of twelve painting signs and working with letters as his chosen form of art. This would come in very handy years later when working on producing posters.

Price range information: Sorry none available.

Tufino was part of World War 2 serving in the army. After his service the artist took off for Mexico where attended the San Carlos Academy studying painting and printmaking.

Rafael Tufino is included in many prominent museum collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the National Gallery of Art of Puerto Rico.

As a fan of all art forms I think that poster art has been under appreciated until recently. At auction some artists featured here such as Toulouse- Lautrec or David Klein have broken the $10,000 barrier mark at auction. To me the art of making posters is just a cheaper version of a lithographic print. You must be a great artist to make fun and exciting posters.

A wonderful selection of works by the artist. As you can tell through some etchings Tufino was a great draftsman:

A brief interview with the artist. The artist’s voice is interpreted:

Rafael Tufino passed away in 2008 at the age of 85 years of age.

What a great style the artist had. When I compare it to other great poster artists such as David Klein, its amazing to see how they made the letterform the main part of their artwork. Long before the days of computers its important to remember it was all done by hand. If you enjoy the letterform as art be sure and check out my favorite artist in this category, Robert Cottingham. Below an example of Cottingham’s style with the letterform.



Artist of the moment….Jules Cheret

Jules Cheret was a fantastic artist best known for his work with posters. Jules Cheret was born in Paris , France in the year 1836. At the age of thirteen he left school and became an apprentice to a lithographer. He enjoyed drawing and became interested in painting. Eventually he would enroll at the Ecole Nationale de Dessin to study art.

After attending college in France he moved to London, England and lived there from 1859 until 1866. Whilst in England he took up and studied photography.

Upon his return to Paris he was able to earn substantial amounts of money as a commercial artist. Cheret is renown for his work with the great theater companies of France including the Moulin Rouge and the Olympia.

Cheret was also given acclaim for the way he portrayed women in his paintings. Not too sexy, or pure as the untouched snow, but rather empowered and free women. The women he painted where given the name “Cherettes.” Cheret was given the monicker ” The Father of the Women’s Liberation Movement.”

Awarded the Legion d’honneur in 1890.

Part of many prominent museum collections including the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Cheret passed away in 1932 at the age of 96 years old.

Posters are in my eyes limited edition or open edition prints. Many artists I have profiled worked creating posters for movies including Steve Huston, the painter of boxers, and Howard Terpning the master of the western genre. Other artists most renown for their work with posters include David Klein who worked with the old TWA airlines and Henri de Toulouse- Lautrec, another french artist who became known for drinking and wonderful posters of the Parisian nightlife including the Moulin Rouge.

Price range information: Posters and lithographs are often found between $500 and $2,000. Originals in oils and pastels range between $5,000 and $30,000.

In this clip we see a great montage of posters from the “father” of the modern poster.



Artist of the moment…..Henri Toulouse- Lautrec…

Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec was a fantastic French painter born in Albi, Tarn, France  in 1864. He is best renown for his work with posters he produced dealing with the theater and nightlife of Paris. In art history the time he flourished is known as the Post Impressionist period.  His parents separated before he was 10 years old and Lautrec went to live in Paris with his mother.

Due to his stature and weak bones, he had a genetic disorder affecting bone growth and density now called Toulouse- Lautrec syndrome, he didn’t do normal things like most peers his age such as dancing or playing sports. He loved art and kept himself immersed in this world as much as possible.

Was among the first highly successful poster and commercial artists. I like to think of posters and very cheap giclees, depending on quality. To say they are invaluable is ridiculous. Some other artists who sometimes too payment for poster jobs with 100 to 200 prints for themselves would be Rex Ray and Gary Bukovnik. Another artist profiled recently was the artist David Klein who was associated with the old TWA airline. Klein’s posters are the highest selling of all time at the major auction houses having broken the $10,000 barrier.

Record sale for a work by Henri de Toulouse- Lautrec is $22.4 million dollars.

Some great examples of posters by Toulouse- Lautrec.

A great collection of paintings set to music.

Lautrec already had money coming in from his wealthy family and their land holdings, but enjoyed the additional monies his commercial work brought him. He also illustrated in many magazines of the time including Elle Le Rire.

Studied art in college and also with Leon Bonnat, a well respected French painter. Bonnat was renown for his paintings of animals and people. Below a great example of his style.


Bonnat moved away and Lautrec found another mentor in Fernand Cormon. He also found many friends that would he would remain close to such as Vincent Van Gogh. Cormon was a very different teacher and that he encouraged his students to leave school and paint from life in strange locales. This is what began Lautrec on the path to paint prostitutes. Below a work by Fernand Cormon.


Due to his short stature and irregular body type he was often ridiculed and made fun of, this led him to drink heavily to the point where he became an alcoholic. He even had a cane that could hide a stash of alcohol for the artist.

When first starting his career he sold some works to Vincent Van Gogh’s brother, the art dealer Theo Van Gogh.

With his party life style of booze and nightlife the artist died from complications of syphilis and alcoholism in 1901, at only 36 years of age.

His mother took over his estate and had a museum created in the artist’s birth place of Albi, France.

I enjoy Lautrec’s use of color. When I think of nightlife in Paris with such characters as Van Gogh or Picasso, I immediately think of the Moulin Rouge or the theater crowds painted by Lautrec. His brushwork also makes his work have a great linear feel to it. As if a master drawer, was painting and using pastels. Great paint quality.