Prague will experience St. Nicholas’ patalia. Jean-Jacques Sempé will exhibit his cartoon humor at Villa Pellé
For the first time, we will see illustrations of the stories of little Mikuláš, which are the work of the 68-year-old artist and humorist Jean-Jacques Sempé this year. The exhibition named Little Nicholas and Others… will offer a selection of the best as well as the latest work. It will be open from May 4 to July 15, 2018.
A few strokes of the pen and the world was born, which is already growing the third generation of readers. The stories of the French schoolboy Mikuláš and his friends – Vendelín’s sweetheart with an eternally packed notebook, the bespectacled nerd Celestýn, the worst pupil Kryšpín or Augustýn, who has a hellishly rich father, attracted not only funny and amusing stories from the school and small town environment, but also playful illustrations by Jean S.
In May, Sempý will see drawings by Mikuláš et al. and the Prague audience of Villa Pellé. A representative selection of the work of this year’s 68-year-old author, who enjoyed visiting visitors of all ages thanks to an interactive installation that uses all three floors of the building.
I also count on a number of accompanying programs, including an art workshop, which will be part of the Book World festival at the Exhibition Grounds. All Mikuláš have free admission to the exhibition upon presentation of the document.
Sempé is characterized by kindness and understanding, with which he comments on the cycle of life. His characters seem to be mastering a caricature of his characters as if they were in motion forever. He votes brightly, with a dose of imagination. “I like cartoon jokes mainly because they can express specific ideas indirectly. It’s a way to say something about oneself without being betrayed,” he says.
Sempé was born in 1932 in southwestern France. At the age of fourteen, he began working as a courier, selling toothpaste and wine. In the 1950s, he began his career as a humorous artist in Sud-Ouest, Bordeaux.
Photo: Villa Pellé
The first regular job as a draftsman was offered to him by the Belgian magazine Le Moustique, from which he also demanded the creation of a new comic book character. In 1952, Sempé came up with the character of the little cyclist Mikuláš, whom he, together with René Goscinny, converted into a comic book.
Alex Grall’s wife, director of the Denoël publishing house, noticed St. Nicholas ‘stories with an illustrated accompaniment and initiated the first edition of Little Nicholas’ stories by the author duo Sempé-Goscinny.
Later, Sempé published in many newspapers and magazines, including Figaro and Express. He attended cafes, bars and jazz clubs, and his friends included director Jacques Tati, writer Jacques Prévert and artist Raymond Savignac. In 1978, he created the first cover for the New Yorker magazine, and later drew almost a hundred of them.
He regularly publishes books of cartoon humor; in the Czech Republic, Baobab published the last story of bicycle repairman Raoul Taburin, who has a secret: he can’t ride a bike at all.