Kadir Nelson is an illustrator and gallery artist whose style ranges from straightforward to engagingly stylized.
His illustration work includes a number of popular picture books as well as editorial work — including the 90th anniversary cover of The New Yorker. This featured a delightful updating of the magazine’s signature character, Eustace Tilly (images above, top).
Nelson commands a sophisticated, naturalistic rendering technique that he can bring to bear on both his realistic and more exaggerated figures and settings. He sets off his figures with a sense of the texture of their clothing and his use of highlighted planes on faces gives them a strong feeling of dimensionality.
In a number of his paintings, Nelson takes on the challenge of placing his subject dead center of his composition, relying on his skill for visual drama to avoid any sense of the image being static. This approach allows him to confront the viewer with a subject that faces them directly, essentially demanding an interaction and response.
There are prints and lithographs of his work available on his online store, along with a number of the picture books he has illustrated.
[Via Karin Jurick]
R. Michelson Galleries
Video interview on Reading Rockets (with transcript)
4 Replies to “Kadir Nelson”
Thank you for this post Charley. Kadir Nelson’s work is stunning. I consider him one of the most important artists of our current times.
Thanks for bringing him to my attention with your mention of him, Karin!
Wow! Stunning artist. His paintings are colorfully rich and vivid, bold, and his figures are slightly surreal, they have personality. A dreamworld. A unique style indeed!
Please share the medium you use. Is it oil paint?
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