The Golden Age
Taking the theme of The Neverending Story, Yoann Loss el creates a striking piece of art in a pure Golden Age of Illustration aesthetic
Yoann Lossel paints with gold.
The illustrators of the Golden Age, the Symbolist painters and the Pre-Raphaelites all passed through my imagination and influenced my art. There’s a wide palette of emotions in these images tinted with lyricism and sprinkled with symbolism. I like the ornamental friezes of Heinrich Lefler, the movement of Rackham, the poetry of Dulac, the lights of Doré, the softness of Waterhouse, the strength of Böcklin and the great classical topics of Alma-Tadema.
Art Nouveau, Art Deco and the Arts and Craft movements quickly filled up my influences, taking things into an ethical dimension, a reflection about art and crafts. All these painters, all these movements, pushed me toward the creation of a studio in a 1900s’ spirit, an old binding press facing a beautiful lectern. I grew to be a lover of old techniques, collecting books of oil paintings. My old house in Brittany provides a convenient atmosphere: ancient, lyric, relaxing.
I’ve been working with graphite and gold leaf for many years now, creating bright ornamentations or golden backgrounds. This approach enables me to create the illusion of depth, despite the two-dimensional canvas. I like to add a natural touch, a bit of a wild world, symbolised by the petals that I fasten on paper. This combination of paper, graphite, gold and hydrangea petals pleases me and makes a lot of things possible.
Every year, the Gallery 1988 organises a show that features artwork inspired by classic cult films. When I was asked to participate in this exhibition (Crazy 4 Cult, held in Los Angeles), I choose to illustrate The Neverending Story in a Golden Age spirit. I hadn’t seen the movie in many years, and I was surprised how it affected me and the strength of its message. Gold leaf will perfectly suit the Auryn pattern, and I will explore the fantastic landscapes of the book with graphite, because Falkor the Luckdragon is already becoming obvious to me.
This image will demand lots of work on nuances supported by different graphite techniques, especially on landscapes because they need a specific depth. An important consideration will also be needed on this golden pattern of the Auryn, the double ourobouros that I’m keen to depict. This symbol is at once of great interest and evocative. I have in mind to unfold it, to open it to see what it’s hiding there...