“ 8. Camp is a vision of the world in terms of style — but a particular kind of style. It is the love of the exaggerated, the “off,” of things-being-what-they-are-not. The best example is in Art Nouveau, the most typical and fully developed Camp style. Art Nouveau objects, typically, convert one thing into something else: the lighting fixtures in the form of flowering plants, the living room which is really a grotto. A remarkable example: the Paris Métro entrances designed by Hector Guimard in the late 1890s in the shape of cast-iron orchid stalks. ”
Notes on Camp, Susan Sontag, 1964
George Barbier (1882 – 1932) was one of the great French illustrators of the early 20th century. Born in Nantes France on October 10, 1882, Barbier was 29 years old when he mounted his first exhibition in 1911 and was subsequently swept to the forefront of his profession with commissions to design theatre and ballet costumes, to illustrate books, and to produce haute couture fashion illustrations. For the next 20 years Barbier led a group from the Ecole des Beaux Arts who were nicknamed by Vogue as “The Knights of the Bracelet” – a tribute to their fashionable and flamboyant mannerisms and style of dress. Included in this élite circle were Bernard Boutet de Monvel and Pierre Brissaud (both of whom were his first cousins), Paul Iribe, Georges Lepape, and Charles Martin. During his career Barbier also turned his hand to jewellery, glass and wallpaper design, wrote essays and many articles for the prestigious Gazette du bon ton. In the mid 1920s he worked with Erté to design sets and costumes for the Folies Bergère and in 1929 he wrote the introduction for Erté’s acclaimed exhibition and achieved mainstream popularity through his regular appearances in L’Illustration magazine. Barbier died in 1932 at the very pinnacle of his success.