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Hagelstein, Maud. "How to Capture Life as it Happens? An Aesthetical Approach to Joann Sfar’s Drawing". International Comic Arts Forum: Chicago, 15. Okt. 2009.
|Resource type: Conference Paper
BibTeX citation key: Hagelstein2009
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Keywords: Ästhetik, Frankreich, Schaffensprozess, Sfar. Joann, Stil
Publisher: ICAF/The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago)
Collection: International Comic Arts Forum
Which theoretical categories can we use to talk about an artist’s drawing? The quality of the line, the specific rhythm, the relationship between line and color, the degree of realism or the aesthetic influence of past masters: these are not easy to describe in an original way. The difficulties encountered in the traditional field of the fine arts also present themselves when considering comics because the drawing is specific and implicates a different temporality. The artists themselves regret the lack of a real aesthetic approach to their works, but we cannot simply transpose the usual discourse to the study of comics: as a young medium, this art form deserves relevant categories of analysis. My research will investigate what Aesthetics, as formal approach, could add to comics studies.
I propose to read Joan Sfar’s auto-biographical notebooks published by L’association between 2002 and 2005 – in particular: Harmonica, Ukulélé, Parapluie, Piano, Caravan. These notebooks contain precious insight into his work method and his drawing. I would like to highlight several recurring themes. Sfar first criticizes the “academic drawing” he learned at school as being too “realist,” “anatomical,” and devoid of life. He explains that it took him a long time to depart from this kind of drawing. By contrast, he heartily advocates drawing directly from the perception of movement, situation, and expression, implying rapid and freehand drawing. In this context, Sfar refers to the famous illustrator Quentin Blake, who describes his career path, accompanied by relevant drawings, in La vie de la page (1995). I propose to compare Joan Sfar’s ideas on drawing with this principal influence on his work. Finally, the theory of color and light shows – in another way – the importance of the accidental and the uncalculated in his art. My arguments will be supported by various examples of Sfar’s work.
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