As you may know, Les Enfers, litterary Hells, was the name given to the part of the library where censors used to hide unsuited books, most of which were erotic ones.
I have to admit that I’m not an amateur of erotic litterature, as a genre, maybe a disappointing novel per decade, not more; but when it comes to painting and drawing, I do feel much more connected.
There have always been so many great artists working on this topic, painters and sculptors Pascin, Rodin, Picasso, illustrators from the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th, Chas Laborde, Félicien Rops, all the Shunga artists; my favorite are the German from the same period, Otto Schoff, Bruno Shulz, Rudolf Schlichter, Grosz, Dix. Even if photography has become the main medium for the non animated erotism, there are still a lot of amazing artists working on erotic books or art : Toshio Saeki, Suehiro Maruo, late Topor, Tommy Ungerer or Stumhead, just to name a few.
I had worked before on a book where erotism was a bit tangible and had also work regularly with Playboy, but still, we don’t get to work pretty often on something like those old tiny limited edition portefolios sold under the coat, or known only by amateurs.
So when a well known Canadian and French publisher Les Allusifs gave me the opportunity to illustrate a great short novel by Serbian poet Vladan Matijevic, already acclaimed in its first edition in Europe, I signed right away.
On top of that, I was working with one of the best North American designer and good friend for twenty years, Louis Gagnon, from Paprika Design.
After we discussed format and main direction, we decided to split the book so each of us has as much liberty as possible. Brigitte Bouchard, the publisher, gave us complete carte blanche.
Not a single sketch or final out of the 42 has been refused or modified.
Was it great as an experience? Oh, yes!!!!
The book «Les aventures illustrées de Minette Accentiévitch» was first published in France in november 2009, then in Canada in december 2009.
We got great reviews not only in men and erotic magazines and blogs, but in Le Monde, Libération, La Presse, Le Devoir, Le magazine des Livres, France Culture and CBC radio station, and many more. We did two exhibitions with the 42 originals, one in Paris, one in Montreal.
Unfortunately, there are still no english version in sight.Too bad, because the novel really worths the reading.
But, the good news,and this is why I made this entry only now, five months later, two images from the book have been selected in American Illustration, five in 3x3, the complete book has received a Grand Prix at Lux awards in Montreal, and finally but not last, the complete book has just been included in the fifty books of the year by AIGA.
A great moment.
Next time I’ll be more shy and will write something about the book I’ve illustrated on Nativity.
Off course I cannot publish on this blog the most explicit images, but here is a taste of some spreads as well as some images awarded.
You can also check a french blog about Minette, lesaventuresdeminette.blogspot.com.
For those of you interested in the book you can still order it on amazon.ca,( sorry I still don't get how to put links in my text) if it does not work, let me know and I’ll see what I can do.