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Erte's Elegent Art Deco

 I am in an Art History/Creative Renaissance mode so let’s discuss one of my design favourites – Art Deco.  Art Deco is an artistic movement which came to the height of its popularity in the roaring 1920’s and finally waned in interest in the 1940’s.  Unlike many other artistic periods, it was not driven by political or religious influences.  Much like its name suggests it is a very opulant, decorative style which is known for fluid lines, gilded or lacquered finishes and highly stylized imagery.  If there was a modern word that could describe this style, it’s ‘Bling.’ 

Love Collage: Bazaar pays homage to Erte

Love Collage: Bazaar pays homage to Erte

One of my favourite Art Deco artists is Erte (so influential he only needs one moniker, kind of like Cher).  If you saw a picture of him, you could just picture Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s saying, ‘oh you darling little man.’  He is perhaps one of the most influential artists of the time as he dabbled in graphic, costume design, sculpture and print medias.  He often contributed covers to Harper’s Bazaar and if you saw his distinctive work in museums, I am quite certain you would recognize it.

Last Spring, I was very fortunate  to stumble upon an Erte exhibit in Lahina Town in Maui (“Hi there! Just looking”). The gallery staff was very gracious as I carefully maneuvered around the gilded statues of Erte’s Art Deco Empresses and marvelled at the precise attention to detail.  It was exciting to see a breadth of his portfolio and many were original prints.  It always astounds me to see actual works that I have studied in books.  Yay education!

Fashionistah Erte Figurine: More gold! More!

Fashionistah Erte Figurine: More gold! More!

There are so many fantastic examples of the Art Deco style in fashion, jewellery, art, architecture and graphic design.  It was as though everyone decided that everything had to be over the top G-L-A-M-O-U-R…then kicked it up 10 notches…and sprinkled sequins on it (more mention of sequins)!  In its later years, the style became more available to the mainstream through reproductions, thus its luxurious appeal became gaudy and declasse to the upper class.  Also, with the set in of World War, it was considered very unpatriotic to revel in what became considered a flashy style.

 To learn more on the love of Art Deco Style, check out M’s website

How cool is this? Erte Paper Dolls.  Um, we should totally bring back paper dolls.

How cool is this? Erte Paper Dolls. Um, we should totally bring back paper dolls.



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