"I have one aim—the grotesque. If I am not grotesque I am nothing."
Beardsley was one of the most controversial artists of the Art Nouveau era. He was greatly influenced by Japanese ‘shunga’ and the style’s giant genitalia figured greatly in his later work which often featured grotesque erotica and perverse illustrations.
He was a close friend of Oscar Wilde and illustrated his play ‘Salome’. Among his more famous work is the illustrations for the deluxe edition of Sir Thomas Malory’s, Le Morte d’Arthur.
His work as a Graphic Designer is evident in his work on ‘The Yellow Book’, a magazine at which he was the art editor for the first four editions. ‘The Yellow Book’ was a quarterly literary periodical containing a wide range of literary and artistic material. He was also key in establishing ‘The Savoy’ another magazine of the same style.
He worked in the Arts, creating Posters for theatres, books, plays and magazines; he became a huge influence on the French Symbolists and the Poster Art movement of the 1890’s.
At 25, after a prolific life as an artist, writer and musician, Beardsley died of the tuberculosis which had been slowly killing him since he was a child.