Scene4 Magazine - Patrick Nagel-it's in the eyes - May 2016 |

“Like some of the old print masters (Toulouse-Lautrec and Bonnard, for example), Nagel was influenced by the Japanese woodblock print, with figures silhouetted against a neutral background, with strong areas of black and white, and with bold line and unusual angles of view. He handled colors with rare originality and freedom; he forced perspective from flat, two-dimensional images; and he kept simplifying, working to get more across with fewer elements. His simple and precise imagery is also reminiscent of the art-deco style of the 1920s and 1930s- with its sharp linear treatment, geometric simplicity, and stylization of form ” - Elena G. Millie, curator of the poster collection at the Library of Congress.

A phenomenally successful commercial artist and painter, Nagel’s work ranged over the spectrum of media illustration, advertising, print magazine illustration, and even record albums. His cover for Duran Duran’s double-platinum Rio was a sensation. His work retains a strong influence on 21st century illustration and digital photography.

Nagel’s legacy is iconic in two ways:
The paper-white skin of a ‘Nagel Woman’ with a minimum of shaping strokes and unusual color perspectives, and the eyes... a mirroring depth of shape framed with a squared outside line.

Patrick Nagel died in 1984 at the age of 38.

— Arthur Meiselman


Images courtesy and copyright of the Patrick Nagel Estate.


May 2016

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