Cristian Grossi – 150,000 results and counting…

I seem to be blogging about illustrators of late and this post is about another one, Cristian Grossi.

His works came to my attention back in June via another WordPress blog Chicquero and a post titled Insect mood. Some of the images were mildly animated (as it were) and I was not sure what I made of that but the illustrations otherwise made a striking impression. The insects incorporated into the fashion, more as accessory than horror-invasion.

Insect mood Cristian Grossi

Chicquero post

He has a website with various sections for his fashion commissions, artworks, commercial/editorials, exhibitions, kids-work and the obligatory prosaic information.

Cristian Grossi website screenshot roBOt

Website Home Page

And if you Google (or are you a Binger?) this Italian Illustrator’s work can be found on Facebook, Vimeo & Tumblr. Or on Twitter if you want his thoughts in bite-size.

But something else you can do with Google (and quite possibly Bing too but I am a Googler so enough already!) is search on images. I did this just now and it returned 150,000 results. Actually when I first thought about doing this a few weeks ago there were 145,000 results returned so they continue to multiply.

Google Image search screenshot for Cristian Grossi

Google Imaged

Now Cristian Grossi may be quite prolific but almost certainly he is not that prolific. Almost certainly there is a core of images which are then endlessly repeated as others have used, borrowed with and without permission, the original works. That is quite an accolade though I think. 150,000 endorsements of your works.

Does Google include every image from his aforementioned website? Quite probably but I am certainly not going to be trawling through the 150,000 images to find that out.

Google Images does though take those images/works/art and dislocates them from their original context. Makes of them a sprawl, but through sheer force of the scale involved, a fantastical sprawl for all that.

In the screen-capture I have provided above of the first slew of results you can see a selection of his works and in their midst two photographs of the illustrator himself – click on the picture again and then on the 1880 x 901 link to see it in screen size if your eyes need it!

Sandra Suy

Sandra Suy, actually

You can also be sure that of the 150,000 results attributed to him that not all of them will be correct. There will be a share of false attributions.

Or yet others listed because of some connection however tenuous to him, such as the one image above which actually is the work of Italian Illustrator Sandra Suy which on the page that features her work lists Cristian Grossi as a ‘Related Post’ (though this particular site does not provide further details about her work).

So there we go – Google lists not just an artist’s own work but works that another artist or critic considers comparable to them.

I assume that these images are not listed in a completely random order, that they are listed by the most popular. Popular of course is not the same as best, but can you prove that?!

And Google popular is not quite the same as dictionary definition popular either rather it means the images that are the most search engine optimised – urgh!

His illustrations can feature blocks of vivid colour or a two-tone palette – I like his work in both but prefer the former and it is those I will feature here.

Little Chimp Society featuring Cristian Grossi

Little Chimp Society website

The first above features also the site from which Google grabbed the image from, this site going by the name of The Little Chimp Society!

Insect mood by Cristian Grossi

Do you agree with me that you would not be disconcerted by such insect interest but instead delighted about how their integration adds to your ensemble? Or perhaps I have witnessed too much film horror and am jaded to its effects!

Unnamed work of Cristian Grossi

Cristian Grossi Unauthorized

I said I would cite the original posting page but the one above gives an ‘Unauthorized Request on Page’ message. Staying with insects, Google refers to its automated searching agent as a Spider – and has saved this image in its web despite the original site either having made the page private or retired from business as it were.

Which means though I present the image to you I can provide you with no further information, not even a name. But do you really need such information anyway, as often extraneous?!

But anyway with Google the image will be awaiting you further along and here it is again present as a triptych – it was from his work with Dolce & Gabbana.

Dolce & Gabbana work by Cristian Grossi

Dolce & Gabbana fashion illustrations

Though much of Grossi’s work is minimalist he can also get busy as with this next featured on The Thumbtack Press – not a WordPress blog though, one of those other ones. Their strapline being ‘Authentic Affordable Art’.

The Thumbtack Press featuring Christian Grossi

As featured on The Thumbtack Press

Titled ‘The Fabulous World of Sfigati’. Sfigati is an Italian word for ‘not cool’ (not cool as in unlucky I understand though think too something has been lost in my Italian translation).

The Fabulous World of Sfigati - Cristian Grossi

The Fabulous World of Sfigati

Mind, I would have liked it if it were a completely made up word too!

This would make a great wallpaper print. On this particular blog you can buy this and other of Grossi’s works as prints with or without frames.

This next Google image took me to a Tumblr page.

Tumblr images of Cristian Grossi


Finally I don’t believe in vampires – well aside from all the figurative ones – but I do believe in the Carmilla Vampire website layout. The original Google image itself took me to a blog Unmatched Style and a post from January 2010 titled Rosso Carmilla’s Vampire – clicking on the header image then took me to the website.

Rosso Carmilla's Vampire by Cristian Grossi

Rosso Carmilla’s Vampire

Treat Google as a journey not a destination. Well treat it as a destination but don’t forget it can be a journey too!

Séverin Millet in The New Yorker, and beyond

Severin Millet Regina Spektor

Regina Spektor

In my last post, well leaving aside my birthday shenanigans, I shared that I came upon illustrator Jorge Arevalo in passing in an October 2012 issue of The New Yorker. Well the same as happened again in a double (October 29/November 5) issue of The New Yorker, and the same section too, the Goings On About Town. This time the illustrator is Séverin Millet.

This image is of singer and musician Regina Spektor. You may already be familiar with her but if not there is much detail about her on her own website which I provide a link to the chase, that is her music,  but basically all you need to know is that she is the niece of Phil Spector but in a rebellious gesture due to his treatment of her Aunt Ronnie she changed her name, just enough so that you would notice but not enough too that you would not forget that she was family.

Okay so perhaps Ronnie Spector never wore Regina’s mother’s jeans let alone had the same blue genes but a spectral heir makes a better story than a near name-sake.

What certainly is not made up is that the Séverin here is the one Lou Reed wrote about in Venus in Furs, a 1967 Velvet Underground musing.

Severin, Severin, speak so slightly
Severin, down on your bended knee
Taste the whip, in love not given lightly
Taste the whip, now bleed for me

Despite pre-dating his birth by a whole ten years. Spooky indeed. At least this is what the website Tricksy Pedia has been feeding me. I would give you its URL but it never remains the same for more than sixty seconds.

Millet’s website though is more anchored. Below a Wikipedia snippet.

Severin Millet Wikipedia bio snippet

There is a larger cv about him than there was for Arevalo – it is a long list and includes Le Monde and Libération among many others.

Home Page o fSéverin MilletAbove is the current home-page. Striking.

I cannot recreate a scrolling effect here but if you do scroll down these works then reveal.

Home Page Séverin Millet

If you click on any of these images more images are then revealed, and some times text too. I am going to concentrate on just one image by way of giving you a flavour.

But before I do that a few other bits of business as it were you might be interested in.

If you like enough his work to the extent that you would pay to own it then there is a store on his site of his work. Well some of it. But is there no greater love than to own the object of your love? A little rhetorical question for you to take away with you.

Also in passing I noted from his own blog one of the above featured works (for a Book Festival in Saint Etienne) has been shown in common-place street settings.

Severin Millet Fete du Livre

Fête du livre de Sainte Étienne – on Tram


Fête du livre de Sainte Étienne Bus Stop

Fête du livre de Sainte Étienne – at Bus Stop

That is a fine way to have your art displayed is it not? Although if my eyes are not deceiving me there is already a tare showing on the bus-shelter display, either by a heathen vandal or the cruel indifference of nature…

Severin Millet OuSo finally moving on. This is the image that I clicked on to reveal the images and works below.

The one that most caught my eye, halted me in my browsing, caused me to stop a little longer was in turn the one below.

What is going on there? The background is purple so clearly they are outside, the purple rain having subsided. I have a feeling they are watching golf, how about you? If the man wearing the tartan flat-cap  does not suggest that then the brimming-with-content woman with the tortoise on her head certainly does. As one man is cart-wheeling with perhaps the fleeting rush of having won a wager they  could be at the races I guess.Ou Severin MIllet

These images are very busy. Overspilling with meaning? Or just busy? They certainly merit a number of revisits.

Shelves - Séverin MilletShelving might suggest organisation yet the contents seem very haphazard – suggesting chaos as much as tidiness.

Séverin MilletThis next merits the word lovely but lovely as such pejorative connotations alas. But look a bit closer and perspective is askew. These flowers are Triffid type giant size or these people hale from Lilliput, Blefuscu and its parts. There is menace too, paradise about to be troubled?

These are the final two featured works. I will leave them for your own thoughts to first form. And because well I don’t know what to make of them.

Séverin Millet - 2 worksI do not know what the meanings are in general and have been thought-doodling. But part of me does not want to know.

Like listening to Arias sung in Italian and you do not know Italian and they sound other-wordly, exotic even, perhaps profound but when rendered understood in your own mother tongue the words may reveal as clunky and the meaning prosaic.

Revelation dissolves. Mystery preserves.

It’s somebody’s birthday

Mine! Yours too? No, really, get out of here!

Yeah that’s right you heard. I know you didn’t buy me anything and next you’re going to tell me you didn’t know. Well what with computerised reminders there’s no excuse next year.

Don’t worry I don’t ask for much, I’m easily pleased, just have it sent by pixelated pixies to the ether courtesy of my blog which is listed in between Bjork’s website and Bluebird Boulevard. Well you know that’s made up as the web is not organised by alphabet but by whimsy.

Yeah alright I guess you can give me good karma instead if you want, it’s not going to pay none of my bills or look good around the home, but if it makes you feel better then I guess that’s the main thing even though it is my actual birthday not yours, but anyway.

I was born into the world one long since forgotten Friday in the 1960’s – early in the afternoon if you must know. I don’t know if any of you were around then but perhaps your parents or even grandparents (shudders!) told you about it – on that day the Earth sighed slightly on its axis just as I blinked into the bright life of day.

I had actually tried unsuccessfully blinking in to the bright life of day a few hours earlier on the way to the hospital when I tried to make my first appearance in the passenger seat of my Dad’s Mini – perhaps I was curious as to all the fireworks going off – perhaps I was conceived in that car too, would not that have been a nice symmetry but urgh that’s the kind of thing which is quite okay to say and think about other people’s parents but not your own. Anyway my mother had other ideas and I had to wait until I got there, you know how that is.

But you know readers my first car was a Mini and I still own it, that’s a much more pleasant symmetry to hold in your mind isn’t it? Or another symmetry is that I have never been much of a morning person – well unless you call around midnight morning. That last sentence was said in the voice and style of Deck of Cards by Wink Martindale. Otherwise it just reads cheesy.

I hope you did not come expecting coherence? I have only had one beer so far but the day is young. So yes I am Friday’s child. The child that is loving and giving – of course you all chorus – but Wednesday’s child is full of woe you know – fancy that – that really sets up a child for life – and get this the child that is born on the sabbath is good and gay – well of course!

Friday’s Child is also a novel by Georgette Heyer and a poem by WH Auden – oh yeah!

It is also two different songs by Them and Nancy Sinatra.

Also a second season episode of the original Star Trek.

Yep I can read and take what I want from Wikipedia with the best of them.

Back to Nancy. Oh by the way if you are on Twitter so is Nancy and she follows back – well she followed me back. But Barack Obama never followed me back and I know he follows people back. Heaps of people back. But not me. Not that I am bothered about it.

Back to Nancy. Her version of Friday’s child is actually Lee Hazlewood’s as he wrote it and she sings and well according to him we are not loving and giving rather hard luck is my brother and my sister’s misery. My daddy they called hard times. Just who is this they I would like to know. Born a little ugly too we are – so harsh to be judging the barely born vaguely grotesque I think and it goes on that good looks passed us by and it ends that of us ‘they’ll forget to bury’.

But anyway enough about Friday, it is after all Tuesday, though might still be Monday where you are, but November 6 will be Tuesday all over the world I am sure of it.

I’m going to finish with a birthday song, Live Wire by Martha and the Vandellas. More importantly it was released into the world the same year I was – see I am giving you clues there as to my exact vintage!

It was one of those Motown songs by Dozier and the Holland brothers.

It starts ‘It’s my birthday’ (Yeah!) but then ‘and he forgot again’ and goes on

Every time we date, he’s always late
Tired of abuses and excuses, I’ve made up my mind
Gonna tell him this time we’re through, yeah

But everything I plan to say
Just seems to fade away
Every time I see his face,
My eyes light up, sparks start to flyin’

But he’s a live wire
A real live wire
He’s like a bolt of lightnin’
And sets my soul on fire

That is romantic isn’t it? Or the eternal triumph of hope over experience? Either way it’s moving.

Did I tell you that I met Martha Reeves once? No? Well I did, well not actually met her obviously but I saw her in concert. Not though in her and the Vandella’s sixties heyday, I was after all still in diapers then but lets backtrack to heydays.

While it must be great to have had a heyday and survived it too it does kind of suggest that the best is all behind you? But better to have lived and had a heyday than never to have had a heyday at all – see that really doesn’t make very much sense – practically gibberish – but if you look at it in some angles, twist it around a bit, there you got it, then it does make some kind of sense. Kind of.

So I saw Martha and the Vandellas and I cannot even recall if they were the same Vandellas that were with Martha in her aforementioned heyday either.

Nor did I see them in Detroit. Or any of the American States. They were a long way from home. My childhood home county of Shropshire in fact. In its capital – called Shrewsbury and it was the 1980’s – more exactly it was 1983 which I remember because it was General Election Night in Britain and so June but then this is far too much detail of which you could not possibly care.

But anyway there she Martha was up on stage before my very eyes and I briefly caught her eyes – oh yes Martha Reeves and I have looked into each other’s eyes – though I still being an unsure tautness of awkward quickly averted my gaze and pretended a semblance of dance to Dancing in the Streets or whatever song it was they were belting out at the time.

I have also exchanged eye contact with former World Chess Champion Gary Kasparov you know when he was in London defending his title against our very own Nigel Short. I felt he was looking right through me – very unsettling and quite uncalled for I thought when I was only come to watch one of his games at The Savoy Theatre and his look suggesting that I should be staring not at him but at the ceiling or something…but where was I oh yes….

Oh and have a glass of your favourite tipple with me, mine will be a red wine. A few more of these and I promise you I will have forgotten that you did not get me anything.

Jorge Arevalo in The New Yorker, and beyond

Jorge Arevalo Illustration of Audrey Tauto France

Audrey Tautou

I came upon Jorge Arevalo, well I nearly passed him by. If you read or have ever read The New Yorker then you will know that in amongst the endless words which you pretend you are swimming with but have long-since drowned, in amongst all these words are occasional pictures and photographs of which to serve as some relief from those words but are as often and quite rightly demanding our attention too. I must admit I usually but glance at them eager enough to keep up with those words but on this occasion I was distracted enough by an illustration to decide to explore its creator’s work further.

This particular issue was the October 22, 2012 one and the illustration in question was not even attached to a written piece but in the Goings On About Town which I usually rush through as not actually best placed to gad about New York what with being on the other side of the Atlantic and all. More particularly it was in the Movies Opening section illustrating ‘Nobody Walks‘.

Nobody Walks Jorge Arevaldo IllustrationWith the web an easy enough task to delve deeper and or wade wider and his own website  was quickly stumbled upon. It greets us with a photograph of the Rat Pack (Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr and Dean Martin). Clicking on we see his illustrations. There is not much detail on his website and perhaps there does not need to be.

His site does detail his clients, the list is not that long but again perhaps it does not need to be including as it does in addition to the aforementioned New Yorker, Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone.

He has a number of books published of his portraits and illustrations too – I am not going to detail them as I have enough to gabble on about here. But if you like what you see here and want more of his work then there are links to his publications on his site too.

Juliette Binoche by Jorge Arevalo

Juliette Binoche

I’ve not included all the photos as what would be point of that when you can visit his site on his own terms and what-have-you, but instead a list of those not featured here who you may want to see illustrated in this fashion – Kate Moss with and without Pete Docherty, Chet Baker, Kate Hudson, Sasha Grey, Martin Scorsese, Lady Antebellum, James Franco, Kanye West, Jonas Brothers, Garrincha, Jane Reno, Jackie Kennedy, James Brolin, Elijah Wood, Chloe Sevigny, Pharrell Williams, Grace Coddington, Stacy Peralta and Alexander McQueen. A lot. Or enough.

Meryl Streep by Jorge Arevalo

Meryl Streep

Miles Davis by Jorge Arevalo

Miles Davis

The ones I have included I have kept my responses, bubbles of thought to a minimum  –  as I’m not you and you’re not obviously me therefore and it follows you will respond in your own unique way so I don’t think you are much interested in my view overmuch. We are all narcissists together on the world wide web after all. But anyway bravely, foolishly I include a few of my thoughts in words however invisible they may be to you between Arevalo’s portraiture.

Amy Winehouse by Jorge Arevalo

Amy Winehouse

Disgracefully I have never written about Amy Winehouse – her music, her voice, her life – what’s that about (?) but then I read your blogs dear subbers and you’ve not written about her either – what really is up with that?

I like the unfussy statement of Arevalo’s portraits. A kind of a doodle but super-charged in full colours.

Mad Men by Jorge Arevalo

Mad Men – y’know those Ad Men

Mad Men by Jorge Arevalo
More mad men…

Mad Men by Jorge Arevaldo
Mad Women…

His time frame stretches from Dean Martin to Miley Cyrus, the young at heart Dean to the old head on young shoulders Miley …

This picture of the Olsen Twins captures their innate spookiness well I feel.

The Olsen Twins by Jorge Arevalo

The Olsen Twins

The next of the singular time-defying Grace Jones and it looks like she is singing I’ve Seen that Face before!?!

Grace Jones by Jorge Arevalo

Grace Jones

Some of his illustrations are a bit more busy but no less bold.

The Black-Eyed Peas by Jorge Arevalo

The Black Eyed Peas

Charlotte Casiraghi by Jorge Arevalo
Charlotte Casiraghi, some minor European Royal

So if this has wetted your appetite, piqued your curiosity, stirred wonder in your hearts…you know what to do.