Benjamin Lacombe Presents:

Le carnet rouge by Benjamin Lacombe, illustrated by Agata Kawa ★★★★¾
Read for TIOLI: Read a book by a “hot” author & 11 in 11 Category #4: Visual Arts

Who better than Benjamin Lacombe himself to talk about the genesis of this book for which he put aside his paintbrushes and picked up a pen because he wanted to give illustrator Agata Kawa a project to showcase her personal style. He explains this on his blog (in French and English too!)—in his own words:

“I really wanted [this project] to be made for Agata so she could fully express her talent and love of nature, of the Arts & Crafts movement, patterns, etc. The original idea (Agata’s) was to work on the Arts & Crafts movement and its creator, the emblematic William Morris. So I made up a story which is a kind of imaginary (though well-documented) portrait of this pope of modern design.

[…] Indeed, rather than just piling up dates and facts, the point was to focus on what made William Morris an artist: his background, his love of nature and shapes. It’s a book about the mystery of drawing, of creation.”

Click on the images to view them larger (including cover)

All images © Agata Kawa

I should mention that I borrowed this book from the public library, but now see myself in the obligation to obtain my very own copy so I can pore over it at leisure whenever the mood strikes, as I am not only a newly minted fan of Agata Kawa’s thanks to Lacombe (you will have understood by now that I am a HUGE fan of this young man already), but have always held a fascination for the Arts & Crafts (also known as Art Nouveau), the Pre-Raphaëlite, and William Morris in particular.

This post from Lacombe’s blog features a good sampling of Agata Kawa’s range.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Benjamin Lacombe Presents:

  1. The book is lovely and your article was written well but then you said that Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts were the same. While happening about the same time but originating in Belgium and France, Art Nouveau emphasized the sinuous line with Nature as good design’s ideal. The Arts and Crafts movement led by Morris was an answer to a social question: The craftsman as artist and happy, fullfilled worker vs. machine made goods: lacking soul, being cheap and unsatisfying.
    Pretty different but both pretty.

    • Lisa, thanks for your comment and for clearing up my mistaken assumption that they are one and the same. I think I must have known this in the time I was studying art history, but it’s all become muddled in my mind over the years. I’ll try not to confuse the two movements again, especially as I’m interested in reading more about Morris.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s