Influence: MUCHA

 September 26, 2015 · Jeffrey    

In the mid seventies,  free spirited youths,  embraced the art of Mucha on their bedroom walls.  The flowing lines and soft colors were very appealing to the Sunshine generation.  Flower power in a naturalistic style.  Historically, Alphonsa Mucha was best known for the posters of Belle Époque actress Sarah Bernhardt.  Mucha was from Prague, and he invented the style of art nouveau in posters, ads, and book illustrations.His goddess like ladies and geometric borders as well as floating stars and haloed heads all appealed to me.  And his illustrative manner was a good starting point.  It would be awhile before I dared copy Dali’s style (see FAITH and FORTUNE).  I drew in color a portrait of the keyboardist of the band ‘Journey’ with an ornate art nouveau border. I also did several ‘Jewel’ ladies (EMERALD, PEARL).  I used his style of ladies for many of the illustrations I did for my high school yearbook. Many of these early works were lost in ‘starving artist’ unstable living situations.

Last Christmas, my spouse and I went to Prague & saw many of his works. It was easy to see how this medieval city with its cobblestone streets would influence his design style.  My main reason for the visit was to see his 18overwhelming ‘Slav Epic. Canvases.   They are less popular tourist attractions and we had to hunt them down at a museum outside outside old town,  they were war inspiring!  20×20 ft canvases showing the religious and cultural struggles of his ancestors.  My husband Clif, researched them on his phone and read their interpretations to me as I studied the massive paintings.  It was amazing.