It’s unfortunate that, in spite of the cross cultural potential of the internet, the exposure to American audiences of illustrators, comics artists and gallery artists from other continents is still limited. I’m certain that if the work of Bulgarian illustrator Iassen Ghiuselev received more exposure here in the U.S., he would be quite popular, or at least have a cult following.
Ghiuselev produces a variety of fascinating, beautifully drawn and painted illustrations for classics like Pinocchio, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Don Quijote, King Authur and Oliver Twist.
His sometimes intricate and richly detailed works range from brightly colored to almost monochromatic. They are filled with lush textural elements and show the influence of Medieval, Renaissance and 19th Century Academic art, as well as the literary Victorian and Edwardian painters like the Pre-Raphaelites.
Through all of his work Ghiuselev puts his own imaginative turn on the subject matter, like his illustrations for Socrates that are rendered within the silhouettes of Greek characters, broken as though cracked artifacts; and his illustrations for Don Quijote that look as though they were prepared to be Renaissance murals.
I’m particularly impressed with his two ambitious takes on illustrating Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Through the Looking Glass in which he has created large scale complex images, resplendent with disorienting projections of curved perspective and Escher-like reconfigurations of architectural space. These are apparently then divided into smaller crops used as illustrations throughout the book (images above, 2nd down and detail, 3rd down).
The illustrations section of his website is divided into book titles. Don’t miss the section for “cards” which features his beautifully realized, clever and sometimes dark interpretations of the Tarot deck (image above, bottom).
Unfortunately, the majority of the illustrations on his website are frustratingly small, given that much of the charm in Ghiuselev’s work is in the textures and details. However, in many of the illustration sections, the first image is larger than the others and gives you at least a taste of what the rest of the images must be like.
Iassen Ghiuselev in Delaware this week.
Iassen Ghiuselev will be visiting Wilmington, Delaware this week, at events sponsored by the Delaware College of Art and Design. He will be at a free wine and cheese reception in the school’s main gallery at 6th and Market Streets in Wilmington tomorrow, Tuesday January 18, 2011 from 5 to 7p.m.
For more information call 302.622.8867 x107 or see the website page for What’s New and click on the heading for “Award-winning Bulgarian Illustrator to visit DCAD”.
Pieces for his illustrations for Pinocchio (image above, top) will be on view as part of an excellent exhibit of several bulgarian illustrators, Storytelling with Quill and Brush, that has been extended to the end of the week for the length of Ghiuselev’s visit.
On Saturday, January 22, Ghiuselev will give a lecture at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, also in Wilmington.