Amazing review from one of the biggest Gabriel Delmas' fan! -by Debbie Levin December 13 2015
Amazing review from one of the biggest Gabriel Delmas' fan!
The thrill of having this book in my possession, I wonder if I can even communicate it.
Sharing the work of other artists is always a pleasure, and I do it often and I do it happily. But I have so far not shared anything by an artist whose work is so full of all the things I want to do, everything in the world that moves and obsesses me, images that make me laugh with their subversive humor and images which move me to tears and even rage…. because they pierce the veil through which I see and feel things, and they pierce it in a way I know I have not felt before.
That artist is Gabriel Delmas. The book is Largemouths (reissue of Grandgousiers).
Everything I want to do in art can be found in this book. I could give you a lot of words about this book, I could describe the plot, I could tell you about the sheer technical brilliance of his drawings, or the way he is able to tell an epic story entirely through images, without ever having to use a word, I could tell you that it’s on a par with the greatest silent films, which could communicate a world entirely through expression and feeling and movement, and how you could enjoy it for the many sly references to myth and literature and poetry and art. I could do all of this because all of this is true. The book works on all these levels. But it’s not going to capture what Gabriel Delmas has done. Not fully.
What makes this book soar is the vision behind it. The sheer anarchic, subversive, defiantly original vision, a vision that runs the spectrum from comedy to tragedy. A vision that is very personal and yet universal.
To me, it is not enough to draw brilliantly, though that is a wonderful thing. And it is not enough to tell a good story either, though it’s very pleasurable to read one. There has to be more, it has to reverberate, I have to feel like I’ve been taken to a place I’ve never seen or felt. But yet that place is very familiar to me, even in all its strangeness. I have to feel, on top of all of that, that something profound has changed. That I am not just seeing a different side or picture, a little slice of weirdness, but in fact, my own vision has changed. The way everything looks to me has changed. The world appears different. To me.
I feel these things are powerfully captured in this book. And it wasn’t overnight that it happened, it was a more subtle thing. I fell in love with the drawings first, because they are superb. In fact, I wanted the book because of the art. But something else happened when it came into my possession. And this thing, I have spent countless hours going through the book to figure out this thing….but it is impervious to analysis. I cannot separate it out, I cannot pinpoint a drawing or a place in the book because it is seamlessly woven together, and the power is in the whole.
There must be something universal in it, that holds the key of all the mysteries that enchant and haunt and inspire and even terrify me. Or else I am insane. I wonder if other people who look at it will feel all these things.
But if you want to find out, the book, if you choose to look closer, is here:
And some artwork you can see here:
by Debbie Levin