Jean Paul Goude

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Jean Paul Goude Biography

The Reference. Jean Paul Goude, born in 1940, is a French graphic designer, illustrator, photographer and advertising film director. He didn’t like studying; in his own words he “was bad at it.” Luckily he was good at drawing that is how he got his job as an illustrator for the department store Printemps in Paris. In 1964 he became the Artistic Director for the magazine Esquire in New York for ten years. He created several well-known campaigns for brands such as Perrier, Citroën and Chanel. “I was an illustrator who used to illustrate other people’s fantasy. I naturally became an “image maker,” he says. Faithfull to his words, while he was working for the New York Magazine, he directed Grace Jones, who would become his muse and the mother of his son. In the 80’s he reinvented the images of brands like Kodak, Perrier and the Chanel perfumes Chanel N°5 and Egoïste. These commercials were aired all around the world; Vanessa Paradis as a little bird cage and Estella Warren as a mermaid for Chanel came from his genius mind. In July 1989 the French Government made Goude the Artistic Director for the 14th of July parade on the Champs Elysées in Paris, which celebrated the 200th anniversary of the French revolution. Since 2001 he served as the Artistic Director for the French department stores, Galeries Lafayette where top model Laëticia Casta was transformed into Santa Claus, a bride or even a man, every season. For these campaigns Goude offered an alternative to the common, everyday sights. Goude is also a filmmaker; his film ‘Heartbeat’ a film tracing his eclectic influences and highlighting his diverse portfolio which has led to some describing him as a ‘polymath’. What is apparent from the film is that Jean Paul was and is heavily influenced by black American culture and French colonialism – a result of having grown up in a predominantly black neighborhood in France.