I have already introduces my interest about Egon Schiele and my passion for this autrian artist several times. In one of my previous posts, I already brought up the rencently published french comic : “Egon Schiele – Vivre et Mourir”. That is rare enough to be emphasized. Indeed, even if Schiele is one of the master of the expressionist painting, he is still more than enough unreconized in France. That is why I also published a post in french but I want to extend my words to the english readers of this blog. A good initiative with this original biography like an invitation to discover or rediscover the work of Schiele.
What better than the artist to speak about his work. I leave you read the answers of Xavier Coste to my questions :
Why did you choose Egon Schiele for this first biographical comic? Was it a risky choice?
I always admired his work but his life was unknown to me. I quickly realized that there was very little biographical material, and that his life was that very few people use. Apart from a movie with Jane Birkin out there about twenty years, there was almost nothing.
How and when did you “met” the work and personality of Schiele?
It has always been part of my essential. I had a good knowledge of his works, but later on I found his personality. I found by chance a biography, and it was a revelation to me. It has completely changed the look I had on him and his work. I had no idea that he died so young, he went in prison …
What is your favorite drawing or painting of this artist and why? What aspect of his personality fascinates you the most?
The table where he is accompanied by Gustav Klimt, “hermits,” as it is for me very mysterious. It represents the relationship between them, and Schiele merges with Klimt. Schiele would have painted as a tribute to his mentor, but he occupies less space in the painting. This picture, I also represented in the album, raises many questions for me. It refers to the complex personality of Schiele, fascinates me. He is unfriendly, ambiguous in its relations, and it can not leave indifferent. It tenderizes, even with his experience.
What influence, what impact, took more generally his work on your own understanding of art and your practice?
I think his design influenced me a lot. I tend to draw quickly and keep the first stroke, the first draft of a design. I like the spontaneity of gesture, and I think it comes from Egon Schiele. I find most compelling drawings, executed in a hurry, as his paintings.
What other artists have influenced your artistic process?
I have great admiration for the work of Lucian Freud, Turner and Degas. All three in very different styles. But I think their influence does not necessarily appear in my work, but sometimes in color.
What about your project about Arthur Rimbaud and do you have other project (s) you currently ?
I have just finished the script and cutting, this is a big book because this comic will be 120 pages. So I work for a year, at least, and I do not know yet what I will work on later. But I’m already starting to think about! A fiction, certainly.