Contemporary Art

Joyful Jean Jullien: Monograph Review

Candy Bedworth 5 May 2023 min Read

Even if you don’t know the name, you have probably seen his artwork. Jean Jullien is a prolific French graphic artist who lives and works in Paris. He studied in London at Central St Martins and then at The Royal College of Art. A gorgeous book by Jullien got published in May 2022 by Phaidon Press. Let’s explore it together!

jean jullien: Photo of Jean Jullien by Daniel Arnold. Artist’s website.

Photo of Jean Jullien by Daniel Arnold. Artist’s website.

Effortless Style

Jullien works across many media – painting, posters, books, photography and video, and even clothing design. His images have been tweeted and shared across global social media thousands of times. He has 1.2 million followers on Instagram. Despite this wide-ranging work profile, there is always a coherent style and a sense of humor. His minimalist black-lined doodles look deceptively simple but often involve political commentary and a keen sense of the absurd.

jean jullien: Jean Jullien, Vivi, Bruno, Lili, Lesconil sculpture series with Case Studyo, 2019. Artist’s website.

Jean Jullien, Vivi, Bruno, Lili, Lesconil sculpture series with Case Studyo, 2019. Artist’s website.

Playful

These works are bold and colorful, with a very distinctive, instantly recognizable style. Jullien is always witty, sometimes subversive, but definitely very human. This young artist has an almost childlike view of the world – playful and innocent. He grew up loving comics and cartoons, and the influence is obvious. He has written a number of children’s books, which we can highly recommend as a great gift for any young (or old) kids in your life.

jean jullien: Jean Jullien, Before Instagram, Petit Appetit at I’Imprimerie, 2015. Artist’s website.

Jean Jullien, Before Instagram, Petit Appetit at I’Imprimerie, 2015. Artist’s website.

Partnerships

His address book reads like a list of the great and the good: The New Yorker, National Geographic, Vogue, RCA Records, Nike, London Underground, The Pompidou Centre, plus museums and galleries across the globe. He doesn’t feel stuffy about working in the commercial world, and his skill as a communicator makes him an ideal choice.

jean jullien: Jean Jullien, I Want To Be In A Scary Story, 2017. Artist’s website.

Jean Jullien, I Want To Be In A Scary Story, 2017. Artist’s website.

Political Conscience

There is another side to Jullien – his work can be very political. In the wake of the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, Jullien responded with a peace symbol based on the shape of the Eiffel Tower. Earlier that year he published an illustration in solidarity with journalists at the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine where 12 people were shot dead by terrorists in front of their offices. Both images went viral on social media.

jean jullien: Jean Jullien, Peace For Paris, 2015. Flickr.

Jean Jullien, Peace For Paris, 2015. Flickr.

The Book

This was the first and only comprehensive overview of Jean Jullien’s work and is organized into three sections: Personal, Collaboration, and Public.

Section One looks at the development of his work and includes a lovely conversation between Jullien and his parents, Sylvie and Bruno.

Section Two features his work with names big and small, and includes a conversation with Jullien’s college friend and clothing collaborator Jae Huh of NouNou.

Section Three shows his most widely distributed works such as magazine covers and public sculpture.

jean jullien: Jean Jullien, Chairs, produced with Phamily First pop-up at Galeries Lafayette, Champs-Elysees, Paris, France 2019. Artist’s website.

Jean Jullien, Chairs, produced with Phamily First pop-up at Galeries Lafayette, Champs-Elysees, Paris, France 2019. Artist’s website.

Family

In the book, Jullien talks about his brother Nico and their strong filial bond. Together they set up Jullien Brothers, specializing in moving images. As best friends with a complementary skill set, they describe their collaboration as ‘play’ rather than work. Jullien is not in the mold of the archetypal tortured artist. He speaks lovingly of his family and his childhood on the French coast.

jean jullien: Jean Jullien, Paper People, 2021, Parco Museum, Tokyo, Japan. Curated by Nanzuka Underground. Artist’s website.

Jean Jullien, Paper People, 2021, Parco Museum, Tokyo, Japan. Curated by Nanzuka Underground. Artist’s website.

jean jullien: Jean Jullien, Fernand Surfboards, 2021. Artist’s website.

Jean Jullien, Fernand Surfboards, 2021. Artist’s website.

Joyful

This book is jam-packed with early sketches and never-before-seen works. If you love graphic art or contemporary illustration, then this is a must-buy. It would also be well-received by absolutely anyone with a quirky outlook or in need of a laugh. This comprehensive monograph is joyful and witty, and is definitely a must-buy if you’re a fan of illustration!

jean jullien: Jean Jullien, Digressions pariétales, 2020, exhibition, Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon, Lyon, France.

Jean Jullien, Digressions pariétales, 2020, exhibition, Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon, Lyon, France.

Jean Jullien was published by Phaidon in May 2022.

For more on Jean Jullien, see the artist’s website.

Get your daily dose of art

Click and follow us on Google News to stay updated all the time

Recommended

Contemporary Art

The Frank Stella You Thought You Knew

You may know Frank Stella from the brightly colored, shaped canvas paintings in his Protractor series from the late 1960s to early 1970s. However,...

Marva Becker 11 July 2024

Barbara Kruger, Untitled (We Don't Need Another Hero), 1987. Screenprint on vinyl. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA. Contemporary Art

Barbara Kruger: The Radical Voice of American Art

Barbara Kruger stands out as one of the most influential artists of the 21st century. Notably, in 2021, TIME magazine featured her on their 100 Most...

Errika Gerakiti 15 July 2024

Contemporary Art

Meet Lina Iris Viktor and Her Gilded African Queens

Lina Iris Viktor (b. 1987) is a Liberian-British multidisciplinary artist. She lives and works in Italy, maintaining a limited presence on social...

Errika Gerakiti 27 June 2024

Contemporary Art

Roberto Ferri: When Contemporary Art Meets Academicism (NSFW)

People often picture contemporary art as a mixed-media practice on current topics set apart from classic styles. However, the art of Roberto Ferri...

Errika Gerakiti 17 June 2024