Lawrence Mynott’s Imaginarium

Lawrence Mynott’s Imaginarium

By Antonia Filmer | 13 May, 2017
Lawrence Mynott, Gallery 286,  Agatha Christie, Maison Trudon, British Vogue, Tangier-Morocco
Moustachioed Lawrence Mynott in front of his whimsical illustrations.
Lawrence Mynott’s intelligent eyes sparkle above his moustache and beard, his humour is apparent in his conversation and his new collection of 40 illustrations exhibited at Gallery 286 this month. The colourful ink drawings depict the fads, foibles and fancies of his imagination, only religion and politics are excused from the tip of his brush and pen. In Mynott’s fantasy world dogs appear as ballerinas or violinists, pussycats are dressed as harlequins, Ro-miaowor operatic divas with a bouquet of fish skeletons; he frequently parodies or inserts period references, historical milestones and animalia are favourites, the intelligentsia will note a homage to the great English painter Hogarth whereby a monkey dressed in Georgian finery waters the dead plants of connoisseurship. There are witty drawings of spring flowers and summer fruits, architectural oddities and whimsical takes on fashion, Marie Antoinette’s head and extravagant hairstyle containing a bird’s nest is morphed onto the body of a lion sphinx, a charming double entendre as the court of Louis XVI had ever more elaborate coiffures and on a bad hair day many British refer to their hair as a bird’s nest. One is drawn into every drawing by thestylised curtained frame so each picture is a like a theatrical vignette.

Although Mynott and his wife Anthea Pender are biannual visitors to London, they live in Tangier-Morocco; many years ago Mynott was cast by Harpers & Queen as the model for Agatha Christie’s detective Hercule Poirot-esque in a fashion shoot “Murder on the American Express”, he found the atmosphere of romance, glamour, kindness and generosity of Tangier intoxicating and has lived there ever since. Mynott has been British Vogue’s European editor at large, today he is the artist par excellence to Maison Trudon, since 1680 French candle makers to the eliteand by appointment to the Palace of Versailles, he confects an image to the fragrance; Trudon brief him of the perfume ingredients and Mynott’s mind races through botanical, historical and whimsical references then a detailed illustration appears that encapsulates the fragrance, it is a very successful partnership.

Mynott credits Tangier as a city of creative individuality, he cites the example of ordinary folks who decide to reside there do not use interior decorators but have all the ideas themselves, clearly Tangier is a city that spices up the imagination.

Presently Mynott and Pender, a graphic designer, are working on an anecdotal and illustrated book for the American Legation Museum. The US was the first country to recognise Morocco’s Independence and in recognition of this a property/residence was donated to the American Consul General, the anecdotes are remembered by the former Director of the MuseumGerald Loftusand range from 1778 to the present day. Previously Mynott has illustrated books about Morocco’s craftsmen and street traders to accompany the collections exhibited at The Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech, the house and gardens of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé.

Mynott credits Tangier as a city of creative individuality, he cites the example of ordinary folks who decide to reside there do not use interior decorators but have all the ideas themselves, clearly Tangier is a city that spices up the imagination.

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