‘Creative Marriage of Words And Images’ At ISB

And The New York Times’s biggest illustration ever! (More on that later.) It’s great seeing a resurgence of artists being hired for commercial illustration work. Computers had the artists back on their heels for a while there. But most computer-generated art has such a specific look and feel to it, that the medium actually does become the message, while a great illustration reads as art, even in an ad for men’s shirts.

Up now at the Illustration Studies Building (ISB) on Canal Walk is “The Creative Marriage of Words and Images” which perfectly describes the personal partnership and professional collaboration of two RISD illustration grads: SooJin and Chris Buzelli.

The ISB Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of work by alumni SooJin Buzelli 96 IL and Chris Buzelli 95 IL, including finished paintings and published pieces, along with sketches and preliminary designs that reveal the collaborative process behind the Buzellis’ extraordinary creative output. SooJin is a world-renowned art director who commissions hundreds of illustrations each year, and Chris is an award-winning illustrator known for his distinctive work.

Much of this work will look very familiar; in fact, you may have had a Chris Buzelli delivered to your home just last Sunday. In its coverage of the U.S. Open, The New York Times decided to include a special section celebrating tennis under the lights. The art director wanted an illustration to depict 10 of the biggest moments under the lights in Queens, New York. Mr. Buzelli thought of 10 constellations in a starry firmament. From The Times article (which has some great photos),

He started off with rough sketches before translating the portraits to two gesso boards, which are Masonite panels with a preapplied base coat.

“Illustration is a funny thing,” Mr. Buzelli said. “It’s much different than just creating art.”

“There’s a very blurry line between both. Illustration, that genesis comes from outside,” he added. “Art’s a little bit different. It comes a little bit more from yourself.”

He tries to merge the two by adding a bit of himself into his work.

Go here to view the very large fold-out ‘Stargazing at the Open,’ completely hand-painted, oil on board, 44 inches wide.

Mr. Buzelli is on the RISD faculty, teaching once a week. Pictured here are “Pigeon Pop” and “Bubble Tea Rat,” both oil on wood panel.

Regular gallery hours resume Wednesday, September 4. Check event page for schedule.

Exhibit up through October 18, ISB Gallery, 55 Canal Walk, (directions)

Wes Anderson’s ‘Isle of Dogs’ for The New Republic.


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