He is one of the most renowned contemporary illustrators. Today, this Swiss artist releases his new book, Fashion Fetish and Fantasy, dedicated to his greatest illustrations, bringing together fashion, art, and eroticism.
This monumental collection traces more than thirty years of work for magazines (Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity…) and brands (Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, Prada…). After starting out as an art director in Milan at Condé Nast, François Berthoud set the international scene on fire in the 1980s, at a time when the field of illustration was expanding its boundaries.
A journey encouraged by Anna Piaggi, the legendary and eccentric Italian journalist. For her, his work is “an ultramodern fashion X-ray, inaugurating a period of neo-illustrations.” His style unites the languages of graphic design and painting, mixing traditional techniques, such as linocut, with digital tools.
More than designing clothes, shoes, bags, perfumes and accessories, François Berthoud shapes them in different materials (linoleum, celluloid, wood…).His creations are a mixture of pop art, comic books, German expressionism, and conceptual art, infusing a fetishistic style and an incisive and ironic tone. What he likes to explore is “the dark side, the negative side, the mysterious reality hidden under the surface. His expressive drippings are also among his most remarkable creations.
Two long texts and an enriching conversation with the artist punctuate this beautiful book, reaffirming that illustration is another form of language to tell new stories.
François Berthoud: Fashion, Fetish and Fantasy
Rizzoli Publishing, New York, 408 pages, November 2022
With contributions by Chris Dercon, Daniele Barbiery and Christian Kämmerling
Credits : @François Berthoud Studio