The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Tuesday, August 20, 2019


Paris' Arts Decoratifs museum retrospective celebrates ad man Jean-Paul Goude
Portraits of Grace Jones by photographer Jean-Paul Goude are seen at the Arts Decoratifs museum in Paris, Thursday, Nov.10, 2011. Extravagant French photographer and graphic designer Jean-Paul Goude, known for his over-the-top fashion spreads and visually shocking ads, is getting his own retrospective, in a wing of Paris' Louvre Museum. The exhibition opens Friday Nov. 11 and runs until March 18 2012. AP Photo/laurent Cipriani.

By: Jenny Barchfield, Associated Press


PARIS (AP).- For Jean-Paul Goude, the days of false modesty are over: The extravagant French illustrator, photographer and ad man — best known internationally for his TV spots for Chanel's Egoiste (available from forget-flowers.co.uk) and Coco perfumes — says he now finally considers himself an artist.

A new retrospective at Paris' Arts Decoratifs museum shores up that conclusion. With hundreds of drawings, sketches, photo collages, videos and installations that include a life-size steam engine made of wood, "Goudemalion" traces the evolution of his exuberant style over the past six decades.

The show plunges visitors into Goude's very particular creative universe which — peopled with long, lean uber-women — is no less compelling than those of many who have long worn the mantle of "artist."

"Before, I was falsely modest, (always saying) 'I'm but a humble artisan' and so-forth in hope that everyone would say, 'No, no, no. You're an artist,'" Goude told reporters in an interview ahead of the exhibition's inauguration Friday. "Now, I'm sick of waiting, and I proclaim it myself."

The exhibit "is a way of proving to people that the work I do is not just about advertising. It's a body of work that was nourished, in a way, by ads," he said. "When you do an ad campaign, you have big budgets you wouldn't have otherwise, and I've taken advantage of that throughout my career."

One of the side-effects of Goude's longtime emphasis on commercial work is that although his name might not ring a bell, much of his work is instantly iconic. Any visitor to Paris is bound to recall the wacky, sexy, extravagant posters for the Galeries Lafayette department store that have plastered the metro here for over a decade.

And who could forget the image of Grace Jones, wrapped in strategically placed bands and balancing on one leg, from the cover of her 1990 album, "Island Life"? And what about the perfume commercials with the building-full of hysterical beauties maniacally opening and slamming French doors as they shout "egoiste," or the feather-clad Vanessa Paradis swinging on her birdcage perch?

Born in 1940 to a French father and American mother who had once been a moderately well-known dancer on Broadway, Goude was raised on a steady diet of Hollywood musicals — and those movies' sunny optimism and kitschy aesthetic are still palpable in his work today.

The retrospective opens with some promising childhood doodlings, including watercolors of cowboys and Indians that Goude painted at age 7 and some racier teenage sketches that already hinted at one of Goude's most enduring theme: the mixing and matching of cultures, ethnicities and identities.

Commissioned by then-President Francois Mitterrand to re-imagine the 1989 military parade commemorating the bicentennial of the French revolution, Goude delivered a fetching but motley crew made up of battalions of Chinese break dancers, Soviet revolutionary guards, headscarf clad North African women spinning on giant mechanized ballgowns and the Florida A&M marching band. (The life-size locomotive which is the exhibition's centerpiece was a prop in the parade.)

Photos from Goude's New York years — he was the artistic director of Esquire magazine from 1969-1982 — celebrate the ethnic diversity of the city, where blacks, Hispanics and whites of Irish and Italian descent came together in mixed-up urban tribes.

Then there are Goude's recurring rifts on shifting races or genders, like the 1982 photo of Grace Jones with milky white skin and a shock of orange hair, or the 2008 collage of supermodel Laetitia Casta as a man, complete with a platinum crewcut and convincing five o'clock shadow.

Though you don't have to dig too deep to hit on the political implications of such images, Goude insists his work is purely aesthetic, focusing exclusively on "beauty, on balance and on shapes.

"Politics can prevent me from doing my work, but my work is not political," he insisted.

Goude added he was "stunned" that some have interpreted his work as racist. Such critics, he said, "turn everything inside-out and tear everything apart" to support their thesis. "It's really terrible for me."

While it may be hard to see how Goude's exuberant celebrations of multiculturalism could come off as racist, the hypothesis that he might have a wee issue with women is an easier case to make: Almost none of Goude's muses — an impressive series of drop-dead gorgeous women including Jones, a North African beauty, and his current wife, the so-called Queen of Seoul — escape a photo session un-retouched.

Like a modern-day Pygmalion, Goude reworks the women till their perfection becomes supernatural. Goude calls it his "French correction": He says he aims to "sublimate" his muses by elongating their already impossibly svelte legs and necks, downsizing heads, hands and feet and bestowing on them what he describes in one sketch as a "horse's posterior."

Early on in his career, Goude relied on low-tech props like 30-centimeter platform shoes hidden beneath flowing skirts, but soon he took to cutting up his negatives and taping them back together again to give the illusion of elongated perfection. In the digital age, he uses Photoshop to tinker with his photos.

Goude takes umbrage with any suggestion that his drive to improve his models came from any place darker than pure love and admiration.

"If I fall in love, but the person doesn't take care of her appearance, or she says silly things, I'll try to help her," said Goude. The same goes for her image. A tweak here, a nip there, and Goude catapults his muses into the realm of almost alien perfection.

"I'm still enthralled by women," Goude said. "I don't want to change them. I want to make it so they are loved by others."

"Goudemalion" runs at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs through March 18.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.





Today's News

November 12, 2011

Public gets first look at Wal-Mart heiress' new Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Today, Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh visited Turner Contemporary

Indianapolis Museum of Art presents "Universe Is Flux: The Art of Tawara Yūsaku"

£9M Imperial Chinese vase tops Bonhams stunning Chinese art sale in London

Paris' Arts Decoratifs museum retrospective celebrates ad man Jean-Paul Goude

Reflex Gallery offers rare opportunity to view a selection of Roger Ballen's work in Amsterdam

The Collection of Will Fisher, founder of Jamb, to be offered at Christie's London in February 2012

Amid a time of economic uncertainty, United States history museums struggle to update exhibits

'Nancy Chunn: Chicken Little and the Culture of Fear' at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum

Norton Museum of Art names LACMA's Tim B. Wride as new Curator of Photography

Apparent 19th-century slave cemetery uncovered on former cotton plantation in Florida

Home decor on offer in early December period art & design auction at Bonhams

Ultra-rare and pristine copy of Action Comics 1, lost 11 years, up for sale at ComicConnect.com

University of Michigan Museum of Art to present five contemporary photographers in Face of our Time

Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum announces monumental Owen Gromme gift

Edgy Brooklyn Museum to show film of ants on crucifix

Local talent the focus at August Wilson Center for African American Culture

Record for any photo sold at auction set in Christie's in New York

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Conservation reveals Wellington Collection work was painted by Titian's Workshop

2.- New dinosaur discovered after lying misidentified in university's vaults for over 30 years

3.- Unseen Texas Chainsaw Massacre outtakes and stills sold for a combined $26,880

4.- National gallery reveals conserved Italian altarpiece by Giovanni Martini da Udine

5.- London's Tate Modern evacuated after child falls, teen arrested

6.- Bavarian State Minister of the Arts restitutes nine works of art

7.- Boy thrown from London's Tate Modern is French tourist visiting UK

8.- Child thrown from London gallery has broken spine, legs and arm

9.- £10 million Turner masterpiece may leave British shores

10.- Tourists banned from sitting on Rome's Spanish Steps



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful