Jean-Paul Goude

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Jean-Paul Goude in 2008

Jean-Paul Goude (born 8 December 1940) is a French graphic designer, illustrator, photographer and advertising film director.[1] He worked as art director at Esquire Magazine in New York during the 1970s,[2] and famously choreographed the 1989 Bicentennial Parade in Paris to mark the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution.[3] In addition, over the last three decades, he has created well known campaigns and illustrations for brands including Perrier, Citroën, Kodak, and Chanel.[3]

Early life[edit]

Goude was born on 8 December 1940 in Saint-Mandé, a small suburb of Paris.[1] Both his father, a French native, and his American mother, a former Broadway dancer,[4] had been active in the New York show-business scene prior to his birth.[2] In France, his mother ran a dance school, which he described as the ground for his "lifelong obsession with the dynamism of movement and form."[2] She also inspired him by exposing him to different forms of print media. "At home, we received American magazines,” Goude told Vogue Magazine. “The advertising, in the 1960s, was extraordinary. The first time an issue of Esquire arrived with a cover by George Lois, I said to myself, that’s what I want to do."[4] He studied at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs in Paris before embarking on his career as an illustrator.[2]


Esquire Magazine[edit]

In 1968, Harold Hayes, editor of Esquire Magazine, asked Goude to art direct a special edition of the magazine to celebrate its 75th issue. Several months later, Goude was asked to become the magazine's full-time art editor, despite having limited experience working with layouts.[5] Goude told WWD, "Harold Hayes...called and asked if I knew anyone that would be good for the job of art director; I proposed myself. A few days later, he offered me the job. I took everything I owned and moved to New York. I stayed for seven years and it was great, but I was not prepared for the literary world. I wish I had known more about it. I would see Gore Vidal in the hallways of Esquire. It was exciting."[6] There, his illustrations for the magazine, including an oil-on-photo painting of Chairman Mao Zedong breasting the waves of the Yangtze River with a rubber Donald Duckie,[7] have been described as skirting on the edges of surrealism.[4]

Grace Jones[edit]

Goude worked closely with model-turned-pop-singer Grace Jones, consulting on her image, choreographing her live stage performances, directing her music videos, and creating her album covers.[8] The two met during New York’s disco scene, stating in a 2009 interview "In 1977 or ’78, I met Grace and it was a period of decadence. People were still doing lots of drugs and I had been working so hard for so long and she made me part of her lifestyle, made me go out dancing at Studio 54. She became an obsession and we did everything together." [6] Soon after meeting, Goude and Jones pursued a romantic relationship, and he began stage-managing her live shows and creating her album covers.[2] Goude used retouching before computer manipulation to depict Jones in an impossible pose for her Island Life album.[2] Jones also appeared in much of Goude's other work, including his 1985 Citroën CX 2 commercial.[9] Their relationship ended after Jones became pregnant with their son, Paulo. "We both had our moments of weakness and when she announced she was pregnant," Goude said, "I had no intention of staying with her. I wasn’t happy with it. But she had the baby and then I became very soft and tender. I did [the book] “Jungle Fever” to keep sane. And things became so bad, I had to leave [Grace]. But I did my best work with her and we’re still very friendly. She is great."[6]

Television commercials[edit]

Goude’s first television advertisement was a TV spot for Lee Cooper Jeans in 1982, in which he filmed a 10-minute mini opera set to Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. He has also created advertisements for clients such as Azzedine Alaia, Perrier, and Cacharel.[10] In 1984, Goude shot a spot for Kodak that followed the adventures of the Kodakettes, mischievous kids clad in red-and-white stripes.[7] In 1992, he filmed an ad for Chanel Fragrance in which he put model Vanessa Paradis in a birdcage, because he thought she looked like Tweety.[11]

Print campaigns[edit]

Some of Goude's most celebrated print campaigns have been for Galeries Lafayette, a leading Parisian department store. Proceeded by art directors, such as Jean Widmer (a student of Bauhaus teacher Johannes Itten) and Peter Knapp, Goude has worked with the company for more than 10 years, and has been given considerable creative freedom.[10] He’s opted to shoot the on-going adventures of "a comic book character, half way between Hergé’s Tintin and a heroine of an early Pearl Buck novel".[12]

Personal life[edit]

He has a son, Paulo, with his former muse, the model and performer Grace Jones (the two were never married).[13] He has another son, Theo, and a daughter, Loreleï, with his wife Karen Park Goude.

Selected works[edit]

  • Several music videos for Grace Jones between 1981–1985
  • Citroën CX, ad, 1984, with the car driving into the mouth of a giant robotic head looking like Grace Jones. Banned in several countries at the time.
  • Design of the French Bicentennial 14 July parade on the Champ Elysées, 1989[14]
  • Chanel Egoïste, ad, 1990
  • Chanel Coco (fragrance), ad, 1991, with Vanessa Paradis as a bird in a cage
  • Prada (Candy) with (Léa Seydoux)


  1. ^ a b "Jean-Paul Goude - Illustrator / Graphic Designer / Photographer - the Fashion Spot". Retrieved 2013-11-05. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Meet the creatives - British Journal of Photography". Retrieved 2013-11-05. 
  3. ^ a b "Thames & Hudson Publishers | Essential illustrated art books | JEAN-PAUL GOUDE". Retrieved 2013-11-05. 
  4. ^ a b c Camhi, Leslie. "Jean-Paul Goude’s Playful and Transformative Retrospective at the Musée des Arts Decoratifs - Culture - Music, Movies, Art, Profiles, and More". Retrieved 2013-11-05. 
  5. ^ "Meet the creatives - British Journal of Photography". Retrieved 2013-11-05. 
  6. ^ a b c "Q&A With Fashion Photographer Jean-Paul Goude - Media Features - Media". 2009-10-23. Retrieved 2013-11-05. 
  7. ^ a b Bond, Jean. "Brilliantly Goude". France Today. Retrieved 2013-11-05. 
  8. ^ Goude, Jean-Paul, and Patrick Mauries. "Miss Grace Joans." Editorial. Comp. Tom Hedley. Acne Paper Spring 2006: 92-97. Print.
  9. ^ "♦ Grace Jones | Citroën Cx 2 1985 Commercial ♦". YouTube. 2011-07-19. Retrieved 2013-11-05. 
  10. ^ a b "Meet the creatives - British Journal of Photography". Retrieved 2013-11-05. 
  11. ^ "Coco by Chanel Vanessa Paradis Sexy TV Ad Jean Paul Goude Commercial Rue Faubourg Fashion TV HD". YouTube. 2011-02-13. Retrieved 2013-11-05. 
  12. ^ "Meet the creatives - British Journal of Photography". Retrieved 2013-11-05. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ Malausséna, Katia (April 2000). "Commemoration as staging citizenship : the example of the Bicentennial of the French revolution". Paris 13 University. Retrieved 9 September 2010. 

External links[edit]