Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sunday Salon: The Art of Michael Sowa

I've posted this one once before, but what the heck, it's so wonderful, it's worth another good look.

This is seriously creepy and yet, I had to laugh.

Michael Sowa is a German illustrator (born in 1945) whose work I first came to love when I spotted it in the French film, AMELIE. Since then I've thought of him as 'the Amelie artist', though obviously he is much, much more.

The world of Michael Sowa's creation is strange, satirical, sinister, macabre and cheery - often all at the same time. The paintings really need to be inspected at close-up range for more than just a few minutes. Sometimes things seen make sense and sometimes I can't figure out what exactly is going on - but always I am fascinated, always I am bemused. Occasionally I am uneasy.

All I say definitively about Michael's work is that once seen, never forgotten.

To view more of Michael Sowa's paintings, please use this link. 

To learn more (Wikipedia's page is not exactly overflowing with information, but it's the best I could find) about Michael Sowa, please see this link.

Esterhazy The Rabbit Prince 

Link to Michael Sowa's children's books.


  1. They make you laugh and then they plant many questions in your head.
    You are right, once seen never forgotten - I wouldn't like them hanging on my wall, but at the same time I find them very intriguing.
    Thank you for the introduction.

  2. You're welcome, Rosemary. They are unsettling, aren't they? :)

    I'd hang the peacock one and the one of the little flying pigs on the telephone wires looking down at the bewildered dog...There are a few more I wouldn't mind owning...

  3. ...and I love Sowa's piggies. :)

  4. Dear Yvette,

    I loved the movie AMELIE, and have watched it several times (which I don't often do with movies). Sowa's work mirrored and was the perfect choice for Amelie's strange, delightful word.

  5. Dear Yvette,
    I enjoyed this post.
    Each year we are fortunate to have Mr. Jun Nasuda visit our school. He is a Japanese author who lives in Berlin and whose works are usually illustrated by Michael Showa so I am familiar with his art works.
    Mr. Nasuda brings many of Sowa's illustrations with him as part of his creative writing course with our Japanese students so I have seen some of the originals you showed here on this post.

  6. Wow, that artist does believe the saying, "If pigs could fly..."

    I find a few intriguing, the pigs, the peacock and I like Amelie sitting in her bed with his paintings above.

    Thanks for continuing our art education. How fun.

  7. Yes, the artwork on Amelie's wall as well as that little piggie lamp really do reflect her world. Especially when the lamp turns itself off...

    I love that movie too, Mark.

  8. Kirk, you are fortunate indeed to have been able to see Michael Sowa's work in real life. I'm so jealous.

    Lucky you.

    I wish Michael Sowa had his own website, but...

    I'll continue to adore his work where I can find it online.

    Remember the fabulous Thanksgiving cover?? For The New Yorker?

  9. You're welcome, Kathy. I love Sowa's work and I'm always happy to share it.

  10. I think I've seen his work on the covers of the little magazine BOULEVARD...certainly this is the kind of art they favor there.

  11. It's the kind of art I favor too, Todd.
    What about you? :)

  12. Oh I love this style of illustration, although I must say the frog in the mouth did nearly make me gag!

    I just found your blog through Pinterest, and I really like it!

    (I also have a very small book blog here

  13. Welcome, nicedaydesigns. Thanks for stopping by. (I love Pinterest - don't you?)

    We're big fans of Michael Sowa's work around here.

    I'll definitely check out your blog.


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