“When imagining murals to cover the city’s walls, I always aim to create a striking image. In an urban setting, I want my works to be like a window opening out onto a new imaginary world. The surprise and, in some cases, the shock that the paintings arouse are perhaps caused when the air current in two contrasting environments collide… Also I intend to delve a little deeper into context of the creation of this image.
The fantasy world in which the transparent dinosaur evolves is that of childhood. The first time I painted a pterodactyl in my notebooks in the city was when my daughter was born six years ago (on rue de Flandre in its red version). This character is taken from a Tardi comic strip “Adèle et la bête” (Adele and the Beast) in which a dinosaur egg hatches in the Paris museum and it travels across the city via the rooftops. Dinosaurs are often brought back to life in fiction. They take us back to another time, another dimension.
Each new birth is a bit like a dinosaur coming back to us. Where does this being come from? Is it journeying back from the past? The body of a new-born baby is small but its arrival and its existence marks a monumental moment. From a personal perspective, the pterodactyl becomes the new embodiment of the stork which brings children into the world.
Are today’s children carried by titans to a land inhabited by mere men and women? At birth, is not every human being warned of and prepared for the era in which they will live?
“… They could have become poultry like us, but they are above all the children of an illusion…”. Said Jean Richepin in his poem “Les Oiseaux de Passage”.
At present, the pterodactyl has become a transparent being. It is a form of passivity.
In several aspects this character evokes the presence of a ghost but it differs in that it is not a troubled soul remaining on earth to haunt us. On the contrary, it is a benevolent spirit which has returned to us. In fact, it conveys progress rather than stagnation.
Above all, the pterodactyl demands to be observed.
Massive changes are afoot and we are but mere observers. Perhaps our purpose resides in this role of observation?
The creature is smiling and confident. Every night, it travels through the city from the time of curfew until sunrise. The bird flies over every home and observes intimate moments in order to make itself visible. It is an invitation to open our eyes and see through the present and beyond. An invitation to looks at things differently.
And yet there is not too much to say, and very little to do. The bird might say: “Be transparent, just like me”.