Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Fanciful Oscar Cahén

There is nothing contrived about Oscar Cahén's many humorous illustrations... they exude a genuine warmth... a joie de vivre.

Cahén drew on personal experience when he painted the cover above, saying, "Ever since he was born, our son Mike has been proving consistently that he was smarter than his parents. For a while we made a show of resistance, tried to pretend whenever he put something over us that he was just getting away with it through parental indulgence. But lately we've given up. This cover design is my public confession of defeat."

An editor at Maclean's magazine, for which Cahén did hundreds of illustrations and covers over a ten year period, wrote about the "gayness and spontaneity, as well as a sureness of touch that stamps... the work of [Oscar Cahén], an extraordinary illustrator."

And the famous Canadian illustrator, James Hill, said of his friend, "Oscar broke new ground and showed us wit, humour and lightheartedness."

"It was as if one had never seen a crocus before and a flower with strength and vigour; but extraordinary delicacy thrust through the snow and winter debris of what much of Canadian magazine publishing had been. Spring arrived in Canadian illustration with Oscar Cahén – and we rejoiced."

"He cleared the way with dash and panache to allow sophistication and sunshine to fall upon a dreary landscape of publishing."

*Most of the information and some of this week's images are from The Cahén Archives. Please visit the site for more artwork, photos and information about this great Canadian artist.

All of this week's images and information are © The Cahén Archives.


  1. I really love this guy's work!

  2. I'm so happy to hear that, stereotopffer -- and thank you for your comment! :-)