March 7, 2009

Van Gogh's Cat




We discovered the artist Gradimir Smudja when we were in a librarie in Paris hunting for Tintin. My husband’s eye fell naturally upon Smudja’s book Vincent et Van Gogh because he’s a Van Gogh fan. Although tucked in amongst the plethora of graphic novels, it would be wrong to categorize this book as such. Each illustration is painstakingly and beautifully realized.

The French-language book tells the story of struggling artist Van Gogh and the exceedingly naughty red-haired cat named Vincent who adopts him. The cat is Van Gogh’s downfall; dragging him into all manner of trouble. The book is clever and mature. In Smudja’s homage to the painter he has demonstrated great skill in capturing Van Gogh’s style.

Beside the fact that Smudja was born in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia in 1954 and that since 1982 he’s since lived in Switzerland and Italy, I can find very little information about him.

He has also published a multi-volumed illustrated series depicting the life of Henri Toulouse-Lautrec. Le Bordel des Muses published by Delcourt is also popular throughout Europe and has been published in several languages.

Another venture called Bob Dylan Revisited is comprised of 13 Dylan songs each illustrated by a different graphic artist. Smudja takes the cover with his interpretation of one of the much-copied images associated with Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues.

9 comments:

John-Michael said...

I am indebted to You for your widening my horizons of Awareness, and appreciation. I am completely captivated by the exquisite artwork, in these illustrations. Lovely!

Lovingly ...

Rinkly Rimes said...

I love the architectural aspect of the final 'cartoon'.

A Thousand Clapping Hands said...

This is really interesting. I know some people who've spent time in Novisad. I'll have to ask them if they know about Smudja.
Catherine

Auntie, aka cagny said...

Good morning,
I see you were first on Theme Thursday. So I flew over here to meet you. This is my first visit to your beautiful blog. I should have come here sooner!Your photos a tremendous.
Now I am hungry for hummus, crackers, and wine. But it's early Sunday morning. Better stick to coffee.

Evening Light Writer said...

I love, love Bob Dylan but my sister is crazy about him. We've watched all his press conferences which are the funniest, wittiest, most intelligent things that Dylan has to say in my opinion. Thanks for posting this, would be a great gift for my sister!

Smorg said...

Seems a fascinating take on a fascinating painter (I've got a print of his Starry Night on the Rhone on my bedroom wall)! I've got to go look for it. Thanks a bunch! :o)

Jelica said...

Hi Clever Pup, I looked at some Serbian websites but there is not much more info about Smudja than what you already got. He worked in Belgrade as a caricaturist for newspapers and magazines before he emigrated. I read that he worked in museums in Italy and Switzerland but I don't know in what capacity. It seems that he had the idea for Van Gogh comics since late 1980s but could only find a publisher in 2003.

giulia said...

Pup. This is why I love LinkedWithin. I completely missed this in March & here it's June. Wonder how this turned out? I will ask you but have to say...my verification word is 'ecatti' ...."it would make a cat laugh."

xo

svs/gg

Cheryl Hancock said...

HI I am fascinated by this book I saw on some one else blog that they read the book to their students I assume in english is it avaialable?
I have have found french and german editions with a reference to a scholastic version written by some students?