Ever since the poster and advertising assumed a major part in our culture in the twentieth century, great creative artists have made a huge visual impact on the feeling of every era that they have filtered and formulated. The most outstanding graphic artists gave life and expression to their epoch, making an indelible mark on our memories.
For more than thirty years, through drawing, poster design, photography, cinema, video and event design, Jean-Paul Goude has made an impression, in every sense, on our imagination. From the tops of the 60’s to the legendary Esquire magazine of the following decade, from the New York of Andy Warhol and mixed cultures, to Grace Jones, for whom he was Pygmalion, from the spectacular Bicentennial Parade in Paris in 1989 to the celebration of ‘Style Beur’ (Arab Style), from ads for Kodak and Chanel to working with the latest supermodels – Goude has triumphantly captured, time after time, the spirit of his age.
What is perhaps less well known is that this ‘made to order’ work is merely the flipside of Goude’s profoundly individual adventure, a journey (marked in particular by his celebration of a number of remarkable women) transformed into a sort of personal mythology. Life and work for Goude are inextricably linked, and this gives his work a particularly oblique personal cachet, and lifts it above mere images.