03.12.13 > 05.01.14
Maximilien Le Roy and Christophe Gaultier
When the famous painter Gauguin escaped to the Marquesas Islands at the end of his life, his status gradually rose to that of a living legend in Europe. At the same time his paintings gained in value. It is the flesh and blood man himself, however, that authors Maximilien Le Roy and Christophe Gaultier have sought to portray in their graphic novel. And they have met the challenge quite brilliantly! Maximilien Le Roy once again proves to us that he is an excellent storyteller, while Christophe Gaultier’s expressionist drawing style is not only particularly well suited to the story but also full of subtle references to Gauguin’s works. It is an honour for the Belgian Comic Strip Centre to welcome this pure gem of the Ninth Art to its Gallery.
Willem De Graeve, Belgian Comic Strip Center
In Gauguin, loin de la route, Maximilien Le Roy and Christophe Gaultier piece together the final years in the life of Paul Gauguin. But whereas the public imagery generally stops at the figure of the painter of vahinés, the authors of this captivating portrait have decided to delve further behind this familiar silhouette to recount the last episodes in his life.
In the Marquesas Archipelago where he exiled himself, Gauguin once more found artistic inspiration without realizing that he was nearing the end of his days. A sublime cynic who was both a surly egotist and a big-hearted rebel, the artist is revealed here as a fierce opponent of colonialist thinking. By concentrating on the final chapters in an extraordinary life, Maximilien Le Roy and Christophe Gaultier present a complete portrait of the artist’s temperament, bringing out his passions, his indignations and his very nature, a mixture of egotism and compassion. Page after page, one feels a great warmth for this solitary Gauguin living on a knife edge, far from all that he knows.
One recognizes something of Maximilien Le Roy in the portrait that he paints of the artist. Rather than treading well-worn paths, the author prefers to find his own way. Passionate about freedom, he questions, travels, sets out to meet people so that he can tell their stories and find material in history for his nuanced and surprising portraits, always out of the ordinary.
An artist for the masses, Christophe Gaultier creates drawings full of energy and movement, and relishes the challenge of modulating his style to suit the text. Here his bold lines add an extra dimension that gives substance to Gauguin’s forceful personality and brings a magnificent density to this portrait which lies far from the popular perception.
Le Lombard Publishers