Starting one week ago Spiegelman got his own mini-exhibition @ the most-visited library in central Paris (the one within the Pompidou contemporary arts building and for which you usually have to queue for 1h min on peak times): the BPI (Bibliothèque publique d’information).
The same day he participated in the exhibition inauguration he found some time to sign a few books @ Forum library for an hour (many many Mauses of course) and see the final result of all the time & space dedicated to showcase his works.
Because besides Spiegelman’s Pulitzer prize winning “Maus”, his own exhibition @ the backside of the Pompidou intends to open a wide wide window and a basic but very complete retrospective of most of his works.
His works have always been a mix of short stories, quick publications on several underground American magazines (Real nulp, Young Lust…) but also on prestigious ones (New Yorker… from which he resigned right after the 11S attacks), illustrative design and graphic delights for the press and many publishing houses… an awful lot really. And the saddest thing is that people only know him for his holocaust graphic novel.
The exhibition gravitates around the 5 big editorial episodes (up to now) in Spiegelman’s life. Starting with his works @ San Francisco’s Arcade mag where he worked along cartoonists like Robert Crumb & Gilbert Shelton.
His works during his early 20s right after his intense nervous breakdown (followed by his mother’s suicide) capturing many short stories and which where published for the first time in the late 70s, stories about his own memories, those of his family and the pessimistic halo that surrounded them.
An obligated mention to his biggest piece: Maus which has been translated into 18 languages and constitutes the central part of the exhibition right b4 covering his very own RAW magazine (co-founded with his wife and also current New Yorker artistic director Françoise Mouly) where Maus was pre-publised and where a long list of real comic geeks (Mattoti, Baru, Mark Beyer…) used to collaborate together.
To finish with his “In the shadow of no towers” project which originally appeared in Die Zeit and firecely attacks the Bush Jr. intellectual terrorism era. Need more?
Ahg! Just visit it before the end of May ok? It’s only… free!