Jacqueline Ostermann • Beautiful Beast
Based in Berlin
Jacqueline Ostermann’s work straddles the line between modernism and tradition, prompting associations with both the one and the other. This crucial aspect of her artistic practice has brought her widespread recognition. After completing her training in fashion design and worked for leading fashion labels. She is now a university lecturer in fashion design and illustration. She has produced a large body of fashion-inspired freelance work and is widely known for her illustrations, which have appeared in many high-circulation fashion and life-style magazines.
What distinguishes Ostermann’s drawings from the work of other contemporary fashion illustrators is her determination to express the unique personality and individuality of the figures she depicts. She chooses her models – principally women – for their charisma and magnetism. They are not beauties in any classic sense but intensely self-confident character types who radiate self-awareness. They are women she has seen at fashion shows and in magazines, or observed in daily life. She places particular emphasis on a model’s eyes, expression, stance and silhouette.
Indian ink, coloured chalk, watercolour, acrylic, background wash, tinted paper and collage – these are just some of the artistic media and materials Ostermann uses in her drawings. Technically, she is a great experimenter with a highly dynamic approach. Depending on the motif, she almost always explores different media when she begins work on an image and does not immediately settle on a choice. As a result, the style of her drawings tends to vary quite considerably – sometimes even within a series of works around a single theme. But when the individual works are viewed in combination the visual effect is intensified. The cumulative impact produces a compelling, coherent, multi-faceted aesthetic experience. Ostermann’s extensive historical understanding of fashion illustration from the Belle Epoque through the present day is reflected in this aspect of her work. She handles her reception of it playfully and with great sensitivity.
Paula Immich: Jacqueline Ostermann in her studio © Paula Immich