by Wagner Skis / Feb 14, 2019


Monsieur Z is a French illustrator who combines the lush atmosphere of the French Riviera (circa 1950) with the clean lines of mid-century California architecture. As a Traffic NYC artist, he recently teamed up with Wagner Custom Skis to create five pairs of playful, elegant skis. Here is the collection, and an exclusive interview with the artist himself.

This year, we commissioned Monsieur Z to create a Telluride ski and poster unique for Wagner Custom and the resort. The topsheet graphics are shown below, the poster is available here.


Telluride by Monsieur Z

Pool Party

Pool Party by Monsieur Z


Sunset by Monsieur Z

Sea of Ice

Wagner: What kind of artist do you consider yourself to be?
Monsieur Z: I’m 30% illustrator, 30% commercial designer, and 30% artist. 10% remains to be discovered.

Wagner: Where can people usually find your art?
Monsieur Z: I’ve shown in Galleries around the world, especially in France, but also in LA, at Riley Art Gallery on Manhattan Beach, for example. I do a lot of work for magazines, too.

Wagner: If you wanted a reader to know one thing about your art, what would it be?
Monsieur Z: I always aim to create art that’s simple and accessible to the greatest number of people. I try to find the beauty that surrounds me and share it…

Wagner: What is your favorite work of art?
Monsieur Z: There are so many I admire—I love Edward Hopper, for one.

Wagner: How does it feel to see your art on skis?
Monsieur Z: It’s fun—I love skiing, and I found it really interesting to play with the form of skis in relation to the images. I think my favorite pair is the one with all the circles, Abstract (from the 2018 series).

Wagner: Are you a skier?
Monsieur Z: Yes, I got my first star (first level in France) at age seven. I’m a little less reckless than I used to be, and I’m more careful on the big slopes now. Still, I try to go to the French Alps once a year, generally to Tignes-Val d’Isère.

Wagner: What is your favorite place to ski?
Monsieur Z: I’d say Espace Killy and Tignes-Val d’Isere, but I also like Avoriaz, and some spots in Switzerland.

Wagner: Any last comments?
Monsieur Z: Making art is like skiing. In the beginning, we fall a lot—once seasoned the pen slides easily along the track.


About the artist

Richard Zielenkiewicz, a.k.a. Monsieur Z, is a French artist best known for his jet-set inspired illustrations. His simple yet sophisticated work reflects his ongoing fascination with the retro sensibility of 1960s Hollywood, Neutra architecture, and the French Riviera. Combining elements of graphic design and architecture with an effortless sense of style, he has become one of the most celebrated artists on the illustration scene today. After studying graphic design and 3D computer graphics at l’École Supérieure des Arts et Industries Graphiques in Paris, and later working as a director of art and commercial animation, Monsieur Z now lives and works in the South of France. He collaborates consistently with top brands like Redken, Lexus, Evian, Bombay Gin, Hasbro, Elle, Glamour, Cannes Film Festival, and Guess, and has been the artist behind numerous animated French cartoon series. His first animated movie, French Riviera, produced by Luc Besson, is in the works. Facebook: Monsieur Z – Illustration

Instagram: Real_MonsieurZ

Website: Under Construction

Wagner Ski Gallery Wagner would like to extend a thank you to Marla Meridith for helping us find this Illustrator and making a connection with Traffic in NYC.

En Français:

Parlez moi un peu de vous.
J’ai 50 ans. Je suis un illustrateur Français qui aime le design épuré, fans du glamour de la french Riviera et de l’architecture Californian mid-century.

Quel genre d’artiste considérez-vous?
30% illustrateur 30% publicitaire 30% artiste. 10% reste à découvrir.

Où les gens peuvent généralement trouver votre art?
Dans les Galeries du monde entier, surtout en France, ( Je suis français) mais aussi sur Manhattan beach chez Riley art à LA par exemple.

Ou sur des publicités dans les magazines tout simplement Si vous vouliez qu’un lecteur sache une chose sur vous, ce serait quoi?
Oui, je suis bien d’aujourd’hui, pas un illustrateur des années 60…

Si vous vouliez qu’un lecteur sache une chose à propos de votre art, lequel serait-il?
Toujours optimiste, mon art est simple est accessible au plus grand nombre. J’essaye de trouver la beauté qui m’entoure et de la faire partager….

Quelle est votre œuvre d’art préférée?
J’en ai plein, mais j’aime beaucoup Edward Hopper

Qu’est-ce que ça fait de voir votre art sur des skis?
C’est fun, j’adore le ski, super support pour mettre des images…

Avez-vous un favori parmi les cinq que nous avons réunis?
Oui je pense à celle qui est plein de taches…..

Es-tu skieur?
Oui, j’ai eu ma premier étoile à 7 ans, depuis j’ai toujours skié maintenant je suis un peu moins téméraire, je me risque moins sur les grosses pentes. Mais j’essaye d’y aller un fois par an. Les Alpes françaises / Tignes ou Val d’Isère en général/ Si oui, quel est votre endroit préféré pour skier? Espace Killy / Tignes Val d’Isère. Mais j’aime bien aussi Avoriaz et skier en Suisse.

Une dernière pensée ou information sur vous ou votre art que nous devrions savoir?
Le dessin c’est comme le ski, au bebut on tombe beaucoup, une fois aguerri le stylo glisse facilement sur la piste….