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How About Art Nouveau? May 4, 2007

Posted by Mitchell in Art, Destined for the Gulags.
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The other night I started thinking about the next art project for Elzbth’s Whim Award.  I had strongly hinted that I could use some sort of direction for it in the announcement post, but Elzbth happily waved any direction away.  So now I have to start from a blank state.  Erk.  It’s one thing to pick up a ball and run with it, it’s something else to kill the pig, skin it, tan the hide, use the hide to form a ball, inflate the ball, and then place it so you can then pick it up and run with it.  Ah, well.

But then, sometimes you just happen to come across a ball.  Whilst idly pondering one neuron happened to bump another and a small spark popped – how about Art Nouveau?  I perked.  How indeed?  I’ve liked and admired Art Nouveau period stuff for a long time.  I’ve wanted to do a piece in that kind of style for some time too and this would be an excellent opportunity to try my hand at it.  Ah, but I would have to explain and show what Art Nouveau is, and what I like about it.  The Interwebberytubes of course provides all. 

Hmm.  After searching around a bit I find that I don’t actually care that much for a lot of Art Nouveau and many of its most prominent practitioners.  Check out the Artchive for a quick rundown of Art Nouveau and it’s selection of top artists.  Of all the artists featured there Alphonse Mucha is the only one who did work I consider typical of my ideal of “Art Nouveau”.  Here is one of my favorite ones:  SummerDance is another real popular one too.  Probably his most famous work is this one:  JOB.  Mucha’s style of Art Nouveau had a bit of a revival in the pop art scene of the ’60s.  Guess why?  Anyway, you get the feel of AN that I like and want to put into this piece:  the stylization of the human form, the emphasis on the ornamentation and decorative aspects of the composition, and the free-flowing lines that are one of the more distinctive characteristics of Art Nouveau.

So, I have at least a starting point.  Then, yesterday morning I had another thought out of the blue that would work quite well with the style I’m contemplating – Elzbth is, of course, the Queen of her blog.  She uses a crown as her WordPress avatar.  So, why not an Art Nouveau stylized Queen of Hearts (or other suit) playing card for her? 

Eh?  So what do y’all think?  Elzbth?