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Biography of Michel Quarez (b. 1938)

Michel Quarez brings bold brush-strokes and neon color to the poster, addressing both the mundane and controversial with equal fervor. He draws on the everyday experiences in his own neighborhood of Saint-Denis, France to depict snapshots of modern life.

Quarez quickly delivers his message using color, whimsy and the unexpected. He has obviously learned from the masters of poster art; capturing the essence of Cheret's vitality, Cappiello's mastery of visual surprise, Cassandre's ability to distill the message into its most basic graphic form, and Savigniac's wit. Quarez adds to the poster the fundamental forms of contemporary art and uses the brush stroke of the painter as a design element. He refuses to conform to the traditional boundaries of graphic art and at the same time, never forgets the visual power of integrating word and image.

Born in Syria in 1938, Quarez completed his artistic training at l'Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decortifs in Paris in 1961. He moved to Warsaw where he worked with Henryk Tomaszewski, who pushed the artistic limits of the poster at a time when the poster was the only uncensored art form in Poland. Quarez continued to work in advertising until he ventured to New York and created the comic strip Mode Love. Upon his return to Paris, he worked as an illustrator. In the late 1980's he began designing posters.

His posters have received significant international attention, garnering the gold medal at the 1991 Toyama Poster Bienniale, with more awards following in 1992 at the Grand Prix National des Arts Graphiques. In 2005, he received the Award of Excellence from ICOGRADA. IN 2006, the Stedelijk Museum in the Netherlands presented a retrospective of his work. For a glimpse of the exhibition, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJnXwE5tC1g. In 2009, the Michel Quarez's posters were displayed at the Bibliotheque Forney.