Jun 26, 2017
He has been called the Master of the Line. His life’s journey has taken him from selling his drawings on the streets when he was a kid, being chosen to create the posters for one of the most famous horse races to being accepted into one of the most prestigious art museums in the world.
It all began in Casablanca, Morocco in 1949, where a child was born to French parents. Soon after Guillaume was born, Moroccan independence drew near and the Azoulay family ended a 467 year chapter of their family’s history in this enchanted land and moved to northern France. Guillaume was ten years old. He recalls “it rained practically everyday … it was cold and miserable – Casablanca was a distant patch of blue.”
Guillaume’s first “official” art piece, he laughs, done at age four, was a drawing of his mother nursing his younger brother. By the time he was thirteen; Azoulay was creating his drawings and selling them on the streets of Paris.
Never one to settle in and become idle, Azoulay left home at the age of fourteen. His plan was to take his interest as an artist on a fantastic journey and see where it took him. “The first ride that came along was a truck load of Gypsies – of course I jumped in immediately!” This ride ended up in the Camargue region in Southern France. It was here that Azoulay caught his first real glimpse of what would remain with him throughout his life – the horse. It is said that the white horses of the Camargue are direct descendants of the mythical horses which powered the chariot of Neptune.
Azoulay studied theatre and appeared on stage in the musical Hair. However, he had to decide between the theatre and art. He chose to pursue his career as an artist.
During this period in his life, he met and married the well-known Welsh ballerina Charmaine Seal. Charmaine was a dancer and actress on England’s comical ‘Benny Hill’ TV show. In 1976, the newlyweds left for the United States.
Azoulay was beginning to be recognized as an important artist and had exhibitions in Rome, Sardinia, Paris, and Amsterdam before he met Charmaine. But it was when he arrived in the United States that he exploded onto the American art scene with the force of passionate collectors behind him, including Hollywood elite and political figures. While Azoulay’s subjects have varied at times, it is his equine etchings and serigraphs for which he is known.
In 1978, Azoulay was accepted into the permanent collection of the Louvre Museum, Paris.
In 1983, Azoulay was chosen to create the posters for the Kentucky Derby. His beautiful Derby etchings, done in sepia, capture the movement and excitement of the race.
Even though he remains a widely collected artist, and most of his works are now sold-out editions, Azoulay produces his etchings and serigraphs in very limited numbers.
Guillaume Azoulay is collected by Kings, Presidents and admirers worldwide and is showing his works at: