21.06.11 > 11.09.11
Le Dieu du 12
The forthcoming exhibition to be staged by the Belgian Comic Strip Center is another very special one, for three reasons: - Alex Barbier is a rare, original and talented author. His work is iconoclastic and militant, which has earned him some enemies. - FRMK, his publisher, is on the front line in the battle to publish alternative avant-garde cartoons, which has earned it some enemies. - The plates from the album \"Le Dieu du 12\" were badly charred in a fire at Alex Barbier’s studio. A fire started deliberately. This is what happens when your work earns you enemies. Fortunately Alex Barbier and FRMK also have friends, which makes their work worthy of exhibition at BCSC, and we are very proud to be showing it! JC De la Royère, BCSC
A work from the early years of FRMK, ‘Le Dieu du 12’ , a masterpiece out of print until now, has finally been republished by FRMK. The original plates have been lost, burned in the fire which ravaged the artist’s studio. But thanks to a major effort of patient research and restoration they have now risen from the ashes, just as the author imagined them. This work is in a class of its own: a hallucinatory tale, set in a profusion of visual detail creating a sci-fi world that might be attributed to Philip K Dick. Here we meet among other characters a God who moves in a world rebuilt by machines, basing his actions on his reading of \"The Wild Boys\" by William S Burroughs, forgetting women. The undeniable beauty of Alex Barbier’s plates, the coarseness of some of the imagery and the bitter melancholy of the characters are recreated here like nowhere else.
Born in 1950, Alex Barbier became an art teacher but was fired from the state education system for his \"subversive attitude\". Right from his comic strip beginnings at the start of the 1980’s he made his mark on the genre with two books, Lycaons and Le Dieu du 12. Both featured mad, strident-coloured worlds, crazy, lycanthropic youths, common vices and vulgarities. Barbier was taken by his peers at F. as a role model. Works of his published by FRMK include not only the trilogy Lettres au Maire de V. but also a biography in interview form and De la chose, a collection of small erotic paintings in oils, delicate and tender.
Thierry Van Hasselt, FRMK