Tuesday, 13 January 2015

"Love is Here" The Illustration of John Alcorn

My first post of 2015 celebrates an illustrator of yesteryear. John Alcorn has always floated about on my peripheral vision but I’d never really investigated his output until a few weeks ago. Recently I was required to work with black outlines and block colours instead of my usual outlineless colour approach and I found that this seemed to deaden the image somehow. This experience made me more aware of illustrators who use outlines with colour and John Alcorn is indeed one of these but his work flows and and are striking and seem to breathe with life. His 1967 illustrations for “Pocahontas in London” by John Wahl demonstrate this particularly.

Alcorn worked in the influential Push Pin Studios in the USA in the 1950’s and went on to be a prolific illustrator, whose style is emblematic of the 1960’s aesthetic. Surveying his output, I am struck by how varied his work is, how he and creates both abstract imagery and figurative forms and can be minimal and then overtly decorative and detailed whilst never losing a strong sense of identity within his work. An explosion of colour, line, nuance, atmosphere and humour, he has now graduated to one of my favourites.

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