A tribute to Vladimir Radunsky,
children’s book illustrator
Here at Wolphins we’ve a passion for unusual ideas and talent, such as featured in the highly acclaimed work of legendary children’s book illustrator Vladimir Radunsky.
Our article about his life, work and inspiration serves as a tribute to the valuable contribution which he has made to the hearts & minds of children & adults alike who have enjoyed his books worldwide.
An acclaimed illustrator of children’s books, Vladimir has published over thirty works for some of the leading publishing houses in the US. He has been awarded numerous prestigious international awards, including the New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year Award and the Bologna Children’s Book Fair “Critici in Erba” (“Young Critics”) prize. Several of his works have further made it into the New York Times bestseller list.
Radunsky, who writes the text for much of his own work, is a cultivated and sophisticated artist who has brought to the world of picture books the verses of the Russian avant-garde poets of the 1920s and of Nobel Prize winner Joseph Brodsky, the folk ballads of Woody Guthrie, and the grace and levity of ballet which he addresses in the company of celebrated dancer and choreographer Mikhail Baryshnikov.
After having spent the first part of his life in Moscow, Vladimir moved to New York where he has lived for many years. Currently he is living both in Rome and New York.
When not creating award-winning children’s books, he fills his soul with the sounds of Bach, Chopin and Snoop Dogg.
the beastly wardrobe
Vladimir Radunsky has always been intrigued by the cultural phenomenon of animals wearing clothes in children’s books such as Charles Perrault’s Puss in Boots, Jean de Brunhoff’s Babar, Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit and Grandville’s illustrated Fables of La Fontaine.
One can understand how disappointed and upset Vladimir was after his first trip to the zoo as a child, where he noticed that all the animals there were entirely naked!
More than twenty years later, after creating 30+ children’s books in which he fitted bespoke clothing on the animals featured in his stories, there was no further doubt in Vladimir’s mind that a world in which animals wear clothing and talk really must exist.
In order to provide undeniable proof for the existence of the world of clothes-wearing animals, Vladimir created a collection of life-size clothes inspired by the characters of animals featured in children’s books and fairy-tales, hereby for each work “illustrating an illustration” in a very realistic manner. Despite the change of medium, Vladimir has remained loyal to his world of unusual fantasy and legendary fables.
His clothing collection has been presented during the exhibition ‘Crossed-Dressed’ at Milan’s Nina Lumer gallery in Milan. The exhibition marked the Italy-Russia Culture Year and the major exhibition titled ‘Socialist Realisms. Soviet Paintings 1920-1970’, which tells the story of the plurality of visual culture under the Soviet regime. Included in the exhibition were the swimming trunks for a baby hippo, slippers for Babar the elephant, a horse’s riding breeches, a pigeon’s uniform from the Ritz in Paris, and several other life-size garments for animals.
The collection has been compiled in the book ‘Vestiario Bestiario’ which you find partially featured in our gallery above. Head over to our blog to find more galleries about books illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky.
To contact, commission or buy books by Vladimir Radunsky, please visit www.vladimirradunsky.com.