Charley Harper

The fabulous graphic-style illustrations of Charley Harper

I'm a big fan of the work of American illustrator Charley Harper, and some time ago I received this fabulous book Charley Harper an Illustrated Life, compiled by Todd Oldham, to add to my book collection. 

Charley Harper was a prolific American artist - born in the 1920's he started producing commercial work in the 1950's, and continued to produce commercial art, illustrations, posters, book illustrations, mosaics and silk screens throught his life.  With an instantly recognisable style, he was renowned for his highly stylised wildlife interpretations and modernist style. 

I love Charley Harper's very graphic and simplified style, with flat (almost computer-like) shapes and use of geometric patterning to convery texture and depth - instead of any shading.  He also has a fabulous quirky take on his subject matter - just look at his representation of the Australian Koala and the back scratching baboons.  

I'm totally in awe of his pared-back style, and find it amazing that his illustrations were hand-painted and not created on a computer!  His simplified and stylised artwork translates perfectly to silkscreen prints, particularly his bird series which culminated in his 'Birds & Words' book in 1974.

Above is a very tiny snippet of the very fabulous artworks in the book.  You can find more information about Charley Harper and his work here

1 comment:

  1. Love Charley Harper. "Pared-back style", a perfect way to describe his work.