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Avant-portrait - Loustal :  Dessinateur sachant voyager  


Drawer knowing how to travel


Loustal publishes the continuation of his journey notebooks "Carnet de voyage" , nostalgic and baffled. A manner all to notice without making themselves notice.


Traveler and contemplative: these qualities are not necessarily contradictory. The proof with Loustal whose Doorstep publishes the third Notebook of journey. When he is not in his Parisian shop, on the channel of the Ourcq (already of the far, landed in full city), the drawer is of course in his pictures. "At home, he confides, the look counts more that the. movement. "

To the Galàpagos islands, for example, one sees in a setting wisely drawn a beautiful black water bird who walks worthily under a verandah. Far away, of the rowboats to the anchor, calm on water. On the right, a table where one put the tablecloth. On the tablecloth: a hat, a bottle and a glass. One recognized Loustal of course, since he left the table to draw, to fade away, to let advance the black water bird.

Loustal n' doesn't have his equal besides to occur right in the sun, off-peak, when the tourists are occupied elsewhere. £ ambitious sofa of the hotel of Palmyre is empty. Big peace also in these recesses of Lisboa, because it is necessary to let to the streets the time to blow. Two birds only, on the lawn of Central Park, in New York,: small, but worthy.

This Greek port corner, seen of the terrace, is also he by desolate happiness, even the pinasse to tourists, emptiness, take a rest. Emptiness, also, the seat of the guard of the pinasse, because the seats have the right to think. As for the drawer, he is again at table. Fork, plate, ashtray, knife, bottle of Almaza,. No problem, again Loustal. Why the verraiton, since he draws?

"Child, he confided to Mathieu Lindon in Liberation, I always drew to deceive the boredom, and it is very easy to start drawing. I don't go therefore the time to bore me. I never get bored safe when I make the activities that bore me, ever when I don't have anything to make. I like the slowness of the time, what that clears, I like to look at the hours to pass. The Notebooks of journey are born of my contemplation desire. To watch, it impregnate itself/themselves of the things. "

To dream in his corner.
This manner to be then there, to make itself/themselves not too much notice but all to notice, to slip out would know how to belong to the small only last of a numerous family. What is of course the case of Loustal: Jacques of Loustal, to be precise, born in 1956 to Neuilly-On-Seine. The last son of the general of Loustal liked dreaming in his corner. The military life didn't tempt it. he departed from it therefore discreetly, according to the habit of the small last. "Do hold, but where estil therefore past? " And well, to Fine arts.

The young Loustal chose the architecture however. It permits dêtre artist but represents, for the parents, a pledge of seriousness. He will make the six years of study besides very seriously - so seriously that he put two of them besides, either therefore eight years, of 1973 to 1981. All it because it happened to him to get bored a little. And when Loustal fears to get bored, what remedy? The drawing, of course. But nor the quoted drawing, nor the tracing, nor the summary. In these times where the comic strip transferred its cuti, argumentative and inventive - Howling Metal, (TO to Follow... ), The echo of the savannas -, Loustal makes its first steps then in a "fanzine" of the high school of Sèvres, the same year (1977), in Rock Folk and.

The meeting is important. One doesn't imagine this drawer without music: the rock, but also the jazz. He will take these drawings in 1980 in his first album whose title is worth program: A Vespa, of the black glasses, a palm-beach, they would like in more quefaie of the conversation.("Une Vespa, des lunettes noires, une palm-beach, elles voudraient en plus quefaie de la conversation.") He benefits in it of his friendship with Philippe Paringaux, become his script writer of predilection, with which he signs in 1987 one his biggest successes: Barney and the blue note ("Barney et la note bleue") (Casterman).

If the tone is given, with this nostalgia nearly immobile that will become the mark of Loustal, the definitive orientation lingers to become clearer. £ apprentice architect likes the extensively constructed spaces indeed, the cities that he always seizes in big flaps, in surfaces, without becoming muddled of crowds, without getting lost in details. He also likes the journey and takes his  time in Morocco, in cooperation. To the return, in 1983, he doesn't become drawer, for good, that by default. While he cooperated and traveled, his friends architects stood, installed, dispersed. Then, quick the feature and the color.

Comic strip, therefore, but isolation. Loustal remains faithful to his principle. "Do hold, but where he did pass therefore? " He doesn't sign any sets, mid doesn't invent a character marks. Every album results from a long work of taming, history to get in the ambiance, in the tones, in the justifications.

A work in the Wenders.
His work with Paringaux, but also with Jérôme Charyn (Lesfrères Adamov, Casterman, 1991), is founded on a very particular report with the text: Loustal uses the "bubbles" very little and holds itself of it to some brief, precise sentences. One thinks of music, although the action is often strong, because all happens between the slots, by a game of ellipses and sousentendus. So that the disappointments of the characters, track them, their schemings become as many stationary plans, populated of presences. A work that recalls the one of film-makers as Wim Wenders. One would believe itself income in the Buena Vista social club anything that to discover, in the Notebook of journey the two guitarists and the trio's harpist "Very of Veracruz", or these opulent ladies and gominées, between jean tom and habanera, that are Mirna Lozano or Lucy Castillos, the "Reyna".

This slow maturation remains demanding. Five years of silence for Loustal, before publishing his last BLVD,: Congo kid (Casterman, 1997) that travels between Senegal and the Paris of years 1920. As it of the oxygen" "balls is necessary to him. He became one of the chouchous of the advertising agents by the quality nostalgic of his illustrations, a baffled mere nothing. He takes as pleasure to sign some boards for rare texts: so Tourist of bananas of Simenon (Dizziness Graphic, 1998) or the Tales of the virgin forest of Quiroga Horacio (The Doorstep-Métailié, 1998). And then, there is the painting. More of watercolors, here, but of the opaque colors, and of the big brushes. It is another side of his work; a reservoir of ideas, also, for the BLVD.

Since quil can it, finally, Loustal travels. His albums testify to some. But to his manner, that means always on the departure, even when he has just arrived, as if he saw all from afar, fed of the memory of a place left or of another place, to come. "Do hold, but where he did pass therefore? "


Carnet de voyage 1997-1999, Loustal Le Seuil, 144 p. 125 E

© LIVRES HEBDO (nr. 362) 17-12-1999 p.106