Gary Einloth contributes much of his success in his career as an artist and designer to the artists that have influenced him over the years.
As a young student throughout college, Gary Einloth enjoyed going to museums and art shows to gain inspiration and motivation for his own work. One artist that stood out to him in particular was Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was an influential post-impressionist artist, famous for his drawings and paintings depicting the real, rough and intimate lives of prostitutes, entertainers and bohemians in artistic Montmartre in Paris at the end of the 19th century.
Born into an aristocratic family, Toulouse-Lautrec suffered from ill health from an early age. His parents were first cousins and the inbreeding may have resulted in Toulouse-Lautrec’s birth defects. He was a short-grown man with a normal sized upper body but a stunted lower body. The defect may have been attributed to a childhood disease, like crickets, as well.
Tolouse-Lautrec studied art in Paris under Bonnat and later under Cormon, who also taught Van Gogh at the time, another great artist that has influenced Gary Einloth. Toulouse-Lautrec was drawn to the artistic neighborhood of Montmartre, and this is where most of his famous and provocative works came to life. He was inspired by the impressionists, Manot and Degas, and influenced by Japanese Ukiyo-e prints.
As Toulouse-Lautrec gained more attention for his poster designs, he was commissioned to make posters for the newly opened Moulin Rouge. There he created stylish, celebratory adverts for famous cabaret performers.
Whilst his posters portrayed the world of entertainment as glamorous, exciting and colorful, similar to the way Gary Einloth creates his art, his paintings told a slightly different story. The linear, long and thin brush strokes portrayed honest, warts-and-all scenes and characters of life in brothels and the Paris nightlife.
His famous paintings include “The Laundress”, “In bed: The Kiss”, and “At the Moulin Rouge”, all oil on canvas paintings portraying people in their own environments in an honest and intimate light. At the time, many of his portraits were highly provocative for polite Paris society; his works showing shameful and sexually dangerous portrayals of life after dark in the French capital.
During his life as a highly scandalous, yet influential artist, he painted hundreds of paintings, designed and printed hundreds of posters, and drew thousands of drawings. As he was immersed in the sordid, alcohol and sex filled scene of Montmartre, he was known to use the services of prostitutes and drinking the hard, psychedelic drink, absinthe- so much so that he even created his own cocktail: The Earthquake.
Due to his ill health and lifestyle choices, he passed away at only 36 years of age in 1901. He died of complications from alcoholism and syphilis, a common sexually transmitted disease raging during the Paris Belle Epoque era.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec influenced many artists including Gary Einloth, both in poster design and painting. When Pablo Picasso first arrived in Paris, he imitated the artist, depicting the Paris nightlife and painting many nudes. Even later, when his cubism began to shape, Toulouse-Lautrec’s impact is clear, such as in Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.
But is Toulouse-Lautrec’s work important today? Most definitely. He was the person who elevated advertising to a fine art form through his Moulin Rouge posters, and he influenced artists like Andy Warhol. Even today, art historians draw important links between Toulouse-Lautrec, Matisse and Picasso. So, without Toulouse-Lautrec, who knows if the art forms of Cubism, Fauvism and Pop Art would have existed at all.