Mar 23, 2015

American Illustration Profiles: Lou Beach

My latest American Illustration Profiles interview is with artist/illustrator Lou Beach, who says of himself, “I am a collage artist.” That’s a simple description, and it’s true as far as it goes, but Lou’s art is much more than just “cutting out pictures and putting them together,” as he explains his work. As an illustrator, LP and CD cover artist and designer, poster creator, fine artist, and book author, Lou’s images and words have helped define the visual voice of the past 40 years of popular culture. His bold and vibrant collages are master examples of both art and craft, finely tuned and designed but also rich with deep soulful feeling (and more than a little touch of pyschedelia!)

I hesitate to use the word “legend” when talking about someone like Lou Beach, because it brings to mind what my pal art director Art Chantry once said: “They call you a legend when they think your career is over.” However in Lou’s case, he is a true legend, having created a massive body of work over 40 years that has been seen in what we now call multiple platforms and that has delighted literally millions of people. And like the sounds of a maturing blues or jazz guitarist, Lou’s work has only gotten better and better over time. One look at the “fine art” pieces that he’s been creating in recent years reveals a highly talented artist at the peak of his powers. Lou’s work has gotten more sophisticated and refined and he continues to be able to evoke layers of meaning with simple bits of paper and imagery, even as he has returned in recent years to more of a hand done approach.

Read the whole American Illustration Profiles interview with Lou Beach here.