The Mental Museum

Jean-Jacques Sempe

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A likely predecessor to Daumier is a french born cartoonist who’s work will strike you as vaguely familiar. His cartoons are often light and approachable, yet spot on with their timely commentary on modern society. There is a friendly spirit that is attached to his works. A no stings attached, come, see and enjoy, agree with the humor while your looking, but let it pass you by when your done, like a small, sweet dessert. Not to be thought of too much or contemplated over for too long. As for its familiarity, you’ll recognize the style from various New Yorker covers and strips within the magazine; a style perfect for this sort of publication; witty and sarcastic, but easy to get and easy to get over nonetheless.  His works are often muted watercolors. His palette is airy and his pen work delicate, working well with the whimsical nature of his scenes. As a young boy, Sempe was expelled from school for bad behavior. He failed several work related examinations in order to qualify to work for a French bank, a railway station and the post office. He then joined the army, where he was put in detention on a number of occasions for drawing instead of fulfilling his duties. He first found fame with a comic strip he titled Le Petit Nicholas which was published in the 1950s in a French magazines Le Moustique and Pilote. Since this Sempe has been a frequent contributor to the New Yorker and has published a number of books; Many of which revolve around French lifestyle and include titles such as Displays of Affection, A Little Bit of France, Everything is Complicated and Notes From the Couch. 



Written by thementalmuseum

April 15, 2008 at 8:15 pm

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  1. I like Jean-Jacques Sempé.


    May 31, 2010 at 6:10 pm

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