Tuesday, June 4, 2013


                                                     "Erte-esque II"  by Parker Kaufman

                                                            "On The Avenue"  by Erte

He was born Romain de Tirtoff on November 23, 1892, but the Russian-born French artist is more widely know by the pseudonym, ERTE.  The name was derived from the French pronunciation of his intiials, R T.  He was an immensely talented artist/designer who excelled at many crafts such as graphic arts, costume design, fashion, and jewelry.

In the early 1900's he lived in Paris where he pursued his passion to become a designer.  One of his first jobs was with Harper's Bazaar Magazine, launching his career as an illustrator.  Over a 22 year period he designed more than 200 covers for Bazaar and his work appeared in other periodicals such as Cosmopolitan, Ladies Home Journal, and Vogue.

Working in the Art Deco era, his fashion designs captured the elegance of that period.  Erte's designs are instantly recognizable by the delicate figures and sophisticated glamour, and still influence fashion into the 21st century.

He designed costumes and sets for the Ziegfield Follies of 1923  and Follies Bergere.  Erte made his Hollywood debut when Louis B Mayer commissioned him to design costumes and sets for the silent film Paris.  Undoubtedly his best known image is "Symphony In Black", featuring a tall, slender woman draped in black with a thin black dog on a leash.

Erte worked continually throughout his life, enjoying a major resurgance of interest in his work during the Art Deco revival of the 1960's.  He went on to create elegant bronze sculptures and wearable art.  Sizeable collections of his work can be found in the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

I created the Erte-esque piece shown at the top, inspired by Erte's bronze sculpture "On The Avenue."  (shown below it)

"Erte-esque II"  by Parker Kaufman is a 12 x 12 inch composition of cardstock, computer images,and Prisma-color pencil.

No comments:

Post a Comment