Sunday, 13 April 2014

Olivier Kugler

Olivier Kugler is a reportage artist who has done many illustrations based on real life events for newspapers and magazines such as The Guardian and the Reader's Digest.

His work can be viewed on his website:

Tahrir Square, Cairo,2012 for The Guardian

Kugler's unique style captures all aspects of any event he is reporting. He creates a fluid collage intertwined with text, line and image with block colours. I love how the text is hand-written as it gives a sense of authenticity and that it has been written in the moment, noting down quotes, fact and opinions to create this impressive reportage illustration.

A Healing Fire, The Reader's Digest, Asia

Here, the artist has used his unique style to highlight the most important parts of his illustration. The main characters are in block colour, whilst the line is used for less important aspects of the illustration such as the background. This draws the reader's eye to the characters, emphasising their importance. Again, hand-written text is used, complimenting the sketchy and loose style of the illustration.

Overall, I love Kugler's work and how he has captured the attention of the viewer's through selecting which parts of his illustrations are most important and relate to the reportage of events. His style is quite cartoon-like which I think softens the harshness of many of his topics and makes for more friendly viewing. It is the text and the facts which Kugler includes alongside his drawings that complete the reportage of events.

How could this influence my own work?

From viewing Kugler's reportage illustration, it has made me realise that strong imagery along side hard facts can be enough to trigger emotions in the public reader. As I am dealing with a sensitive topic, the missing Malaysian Airline MH370, it is important that I can communicate a strong message to the reader in an understanding yet sensitive way. As Kugler uses quotes in his work, I could use quotes from various articles to structure my reportage illustration and make it clear for the reader. My main focus is on the relatives of the missing passengers so I could use personal quotes alongside my illustrations. Also, I would like to use the technique of highlighting the most important imagery within my reportage illustration though perhaps in a more subtle way than Kugler. I feel the black lines in the artists work are too strong for the way I would like to portray the imagery relating to the relatives of the missing plane.