I have been enamored with illustrator Hattie Stewart’s work since her collaboration with Australian accessories designer Poppy Lissiman. Stewart’s fashion industry oriented scribbles are bright and colourful, injecting a large dose of fun into a genre that can be serious and unapproachable. She is currently the first to have been selected for a series of illustrator commissions at the House of Illustration and has transformed the space into a garish (in a good way) and striking wonderland.
Stewart’s illustrations remind me of a mix of George Condo and Jeff Koons. The images on display comprise of advertising campaigns and magazine editorials from such brands as Calvin Klein and magazines like Dazed and Confused that have all been given a Hattie Stewart makeover. On top of these iconic images, the artist has appliquéd her own doodles. Black and white images become multicolored and the serious model expressions become wild and energetic. The figures have tongues drawn onto their mouths and graphic tattoos embellished onto their limbs. Stewart’s models are also given manicures – long talons in bright blues and reds. Dotting around the background are smiley-faced hearts and other fantastical characters poking their tongues out and gesturing at the viewer, drawing you in to their fantasy world.
The display is fun and the images are reminiscent of children’s cartoons with the use of bright colours and wacky facial expressions. Stewart’s drawings reach from floor to ceiling, having been collaged together in the style of large murals.
The show is a must for any fashion fanatic with such recognizable faces as Cara Delevingne, Naomi Campbell and Justin Bieber among those playing victim to Stewart’s glaring graffiti!
Hattie Stewart Adversary is on display at House of Illustration until 19 July