Any one who has known me for even a little bit, knows of my fondness for the work of Honore Daumier. He is one of France's best loved caricaturists and political satirists of the late nineteenth century and spent most of his energy attacking the hypocrisies and excesses of the bourgeoise. For me, his work has always embodied the ability to capture the essence of a character, with detail and rendering as lesser priorities.
On Tuesday, Randall, and my assistant and friend, Malia Hughes joined me for a trip to the Musee D'Orsay along with my two girls, Paulina and Fia. It's a spectacular place which was once a vast railway station at the turn of the century. Combing the various galleries, we stumbled upon a room devoted to the work of Daumier and there in a huge glass case were over thirty busts of the parliamentary figures of the day, molded in his characteristically energetic and unapologetic way. They look like as if he was rushing to capture the individual spark of each personality and if you look closely enough, you can still see his fingerprints in the clay. They are just as loose as his lithographs for which he is more widely known and are as alive as the day they were first molded into existence.
The following day, I was interviewed for a french television program about my work and influences. Daumier was fresh on my mind and I spoke a lot about him. Afterwards, I decided to take a different route back to the apartment we are renting in the Marais and strode along the Seine, taking my time. There, right before a bridge that would take me back to my temporary home, I happened to look up at a small building with a plaque set in it's face. "Here lived Honore Daumier" it said. Much of Paris has not changed physically since Daumier's time and it was easy for me to imagine him pulling open the front door and leaving the building with drawings tucked under his arm, ready to be printed by Le Charivari. It was a wonderful moment for me. I hope you enjoy these little sculptures. And if you aren't familiar with Daumier, than it is my pleasure to introduce you to him.