Paris (AFP)

Press cartoonist Kiraz, known in particular for his illustrations of "Parisiennes" published in numerous magazines, died on Tuesday at the age of 96, his companion told AFP.

"Edmond Kiraz, born in Cairo on August 25, 1923, died serenely in the early morning of this Tuesday, August 11, 2020, in his Parisian apartment in the 6th arrondissement of Paris that he loved so much", confided Sabine Bastien, the companion of the illustrator who drew for thirty years for Marcel Dassault's weekly "Jours de France".

Without artistic training, Kiraz (Edmond Kirazian) began his career as a political cartoonist and cartoonist in Egypt at the age of 17. "I have always drawn. I have never done artistic studies, never! Besides, I find that it cuts everything!", He explained in 2011 in an interview published by the ActuaBD site.

Raised in a Francophile family of Armenian origin, he moved to Paris at the age of 22, immediately falling under the spell of the "Parisiennes" whom he saw as "dragonflies".

Slender silhouette, huge eyes, the "Parisiennes" sketched by Kiraz were sophisticated and terribly stereotypical, ingenuous and brainless, mainly concerned with shopping and fashion. In addition to "Jours de France" where he was hired directly by Marcel Dassault to "draw pretty women", the designer worked in particular for Playboy, Paris Match and Vogue.

Many of his drawings have been published in collections mainly by Denoël. Her album "Les Parisiennes se marient" (1994) was prefaced by Carla Bruni.

“The apparent lightness of his style was the result of hard work. Kiraz followed fashion by watching the young women he sketched in the streets and the fashion world followed his releases. He was glued to his drawing board. , experimenting with the harmonies of tones, always seeking delicacy in the young woman while he decked out his male subjects with awkward looks, "said his companion.

Kiraz also worked for several advertising agencies illustrating with his "Parisiennes" the campaigns of brands like Renault (for the Clio Chipie), Perrier, Canderel, Monoprix or even Nivéa.

In 2008, the Carnavalet museum in Paris paid tribute to him on the occasion of an exhibition retracing his career.

"The Kiraz man was as exquisite as his drawings. He only held back from the world what delighted him. He knew where he came from, he knew that chaos, destruction, was the norm. So you had to enchant the world. ", underlined his companion.

© 2020 AFP