From 26 March to 9 June, the City of Paris hosts a temporary installation of twenty monumental bronze sculptures of the famous “Le Chat” by Philippe Geluck on the Champs Élysées. The exhibiton is called LE CHAT DEAMBULE. The famous fat, but highly intelligent and well dressed tomcat takes up residence in central Paris, before undertaking a grand tour of France including Bordeaux, Caen. The sculptures continue on to Luxembourg and Brussels arriving for the inauguration of the Le Chat and cartoon drawing museum in 2023. Don’t miss this fun event that will be reminiscent of the Botero sculptures on the Champs in the early 1990s.
If you haven’t yet discovered this ironic cat it is time you did. He’s the central character in more than 20 cartoon albums and has some pretty funny observations on the quirks of life. In thirty-eight years, Le Chat has entered the hearts of all generations with his good nature, his humor, his humanism and his very particular way to tackle the most delicate subjects, without insult or abrasion. You don’t even need to like cats to enjoy his wry humor and wordplay. Most of his albums are only in French though so you’ll have to se remuer les neurons! See LeChat.com for all the albums.
The hybrid exhibition catalogue/album LE CHAT DEAMBULE is translated into English under the title LE CAT WALKS. From it you can learn how Philippe Geluck became a cartoonist and sculptor (while passing through television, radio and of course the press), how a bronze is made (23 steps!) and LOL at some Le Chat’s cartoons. This one for example where the cartoonist Geluck draws the sculptor Geluck and his two genial models. He says “Now don’t move”. What a pose to hold!
The 20 sculptures that will be on the Champs-Elysées will be funny, thoughtful and highly photographable. In one of the sculptures, Le Chat is represented as a kneeling Atlas carrying a huge sphere on his shoulders. The sphere is full of garbage plastic. Just like Atlas, the giant of mythology condemned by Zeus to carry the celestial vault, Le Chat shoulders the weight of man’s plastic madness. In another sculpture, this one lighter (in spirit not kilos!) and poetic, Le Chat plays the flute. But here the instrument is a tree branch on which a bird perches singing at the top of its lungs. The title of the work is “Flûte à Bec” (a play on words in French which is literally flute with beak,. A flûte-à-bec is a recorder (the musical instrument) in English). Download the app before you go so you can hear the commentary in your own language.
You can also visit the Huberty & Breyne gallery, which specializes in comic album original art, at 36 avenue de Matignon (just off the Champs) which will show (and sell I imagine) original drawings, paintings and prints by Philippe Geluck. Now there’s an unusual souvenir of Paris! The show of “the making of behind-the-scenes” Le Chat in bronze as well as original paintings by Geluck is also visible online starting 26/03: hubertybreyne.com
Be careful where you hammer!
Laughter in France https://www.fusac.fr/laughter-in-france/
Previous Exhibition by Philippe Geluck and Le Chat in Paris, 2014