The Miles Davis Online Interview: Erwann Gauthier


(Artist Series, Volume 16)

As Creative Director for Paris-based design studio EZZ-thetic, Erwann Gauthier understands design – in all its many styles and functions. Knowing my passion for All Things Miles Davis®, the talented Gauthier was kind enough to shoot me over some of his artwork inspired by the jazz legend. One of the illustrations has the forthcoming Miles Davis Biopic in mind, while the other (below) plays off a photograph of Davis. I like both equally, plus there’s a terrific variety of creative design work on display at the EZZ-thetic website.

I caught up with Gauthier recently and asked him a few questions about art and Miles Davis.

Miles Davis Online: What was the inspiration behind the Don Cheadle/Miles Davis image? It obviously has something to do with the movie, right?
Erwann Gauthier: I wanted to try to do something with the movie poster using uncluttered graphic design, something which would remind us of the silence which is dear to Miles Davis, or of a “sound illustration”.

Miles Davis Online: I love the ‘Prince of Darkness’ artwork (below). What’s the design process for an image like this?
Gauthier: I always start working from photographs. Then I draw the whole face and color it to get a particular feel. The point is to portray the intensity, the magnetic nature of his look as faithfully as possible. If the look is wrong, the picture won’t work.

Miles Davis Online: Why Miles Davis?
Gauthier: Jazz is my life! Miles Davis is one of the most interesting and innovative figures of jazz. Both he and his career are exceptional. In his whole career, both as a leader or a sideman, there is no album identical to another, which is a unique case in Jazz history.

I’m impressed by his curiosity, his musical evolution: he’s really visionary!

Miles Davis Online: Will you create more Miles Davis artwork in the future?
Gauthier: Yes! A single picture on Miles Davis would not be enough. There are so many changes, presences, mysteries… Miles Davis is a powerful link, a “black angel.”

Actually, I am now working on a series of Jazz illustrations (in a personal respect), and I would like to make a book out of them, or a comic book. I’m sure I’ll find the right place for the pictures eventually.

Miles Davis Online: Favorite Miles Davis album?
Gauthier: I particularly like the colors (song titles) of the album Aura.

You can find more artwork from Erwann Gauthier at EZZ-thetic.
Artwork is © Erwann Gauthier

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