the most important monograph to date on Stéphane Blanquet: designed by the artist, the publication gathers ancient works and new ones, created for his exhibition at Auberive Abbey in France. Drawings, terracotta, tapestries, lithographs, photographs… This monograph provides a broad look at Blanquet's erotic and nightmarish universe.
How to write about a guy, an artist, a creative mind who, with each word he speaks and each pen stroke he gives, is way ahead of you? Not an easy task. They say one always remembers the first time. In this case, there is no doubt about it. A few years ago, the Maison Rouge, the Paris art space of French collector Antoine de Galbert, was hosting a fair for limited art editions. As I was strolling around among beautiful things, one of them caught my eye at first sight: a tapestry floating in the air at the back of the main room. It attracted me like a magnet; I just had to rush to it. Without knowing why, I felt convinced, with no possible mistake, that this work was exceptional: vivid colors, impossible to find in traditional tapestry; imaginary theme drawn from the dream world; never seen before, technologically innovative, medium. I asked in a thundering voice “whose work is that?” A considerate exhibitor pointed out a person besides me… A person who looked like he is from a science-fiction movie… The art and their genitor were very much alike… Forty years of art collecting could have one think that he knows it all; but remember, exploring art is infinite and requires permanent humility. Stéphane's sleep is agitated. His nightly unconscious moments are populated with nightmares and beautifully crazy erotic dreams. Most of us forget them in the blink of an eye, but him, the “extra-planetary”, when he wakes up and recovers his consciousness, sketches them. The amazing images of his hallucinations are thus stored. What does Blanquet express in his abundance of drawings, installations and other works? When I analyze them, I feel I see a reflection of my own soul as if I was looking in a mirror; Not the type which reflects a surface but rather a mirror of the inner self. The artistic network that he heads with his intensive personal commitment grew on underground cultures from the past decades: heavy metal, street culture, tattoos, rap music, punk attitude… He exposes the feelings of millions of women and men outside the capitalistic environment and the politically correctness. Artists, and those who like their work, are seldom seen in official galleries and museums even though their music is everywhere on air and in the social media. These artists express, in a genuine way, both very intimate visions and social facts with are widely spread in the media. Stéphane Blanquet the “extra-planetary” and his followers observe with cheerfulness and delight the skimpy behavior of their contemporaries and remind us that the real and good life is the one they live on their planet. Jean-Claude Volot
Published on the occasion of the eponymous exhibition at the Abbaye d'Auberive, France, from June 10 to September 30, 2018.
Stéphane Blanquet was born in 1973. He lives and works in the Paris area. Considered today as one of the pioneer of graphic novels in France, his abounding, unsettling and provocative world does not leave anyone indifferent and goes far beyond the frame of his published work notably at Cornélius, Alain Beaulet, Albin Michel Publishings, L'Association or his own label United Dead Artists. Illegitimate son of Robert Crumb, Roland Topor, Hieronymus Bosch and surrealism, he is backed by a long past in the field of graphzines, the press and international edition. He is himself a publisher (Chacal Puant and La Monstrueuse—rewarded at the Angoulême Festival in 1996—and the more recent Muscle Carabine), and appears as one of the most inventive creators of his generation. In 2005, L'An 2 Publishings devoted to him a reference book Monographie Lacrymale. In 2007, La Vénéneuse aux Deux Eperons, a graphic novel made like a shadow theater released by Cornélius Editions and the exhibition “Blanquet s'ouvre la panse”, presented in Paris by the Arts Factory Gallery would be met by a wave of enthusiasm. A foreword to a institutional recognition that occurred in 2009 with the exhibition “Quintet” at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Lyon and an impressive solo show at the Singapor Contemporary Art Musem in 2013.