Last year I went to two exhibitions of Nuvish in Grenoble. Straight away I remembered some drawings which I had seen in Hopital Brut (published by Le Dernier Cri). It was incredible to actually realise that the originals were miniatures. Some of them are displayed on his blog here.
His flat is situated in a quaint lane. We started talking about a nearby squat which now has been destroyed because I remembered I played some music with No Mad six years ago there. He introduced me to his family and we went upstairs to have a look at his work. He showed me first a very dark etching.
Nuvish: I spend one month full time to draw each picture.
We were sitting on the floor of a square room under the roof. Most of his drawings were framed for his next exhibition which will takes place at Entr’arts 4 rue Marx Dormoy in Grenoble from the 29th of April to the 6th of June. The etchings and the screen prints were on the floor carefully wrapped.
Nuvish: I spent three years with Le Dernier Cri in Marseille. We worked eight hours a day. When I came home I spent my evenings drawing.
Sggum: Did they pay you?
Nuvish: Yea, it was a “Emploi Jeune”.
Sggum: How long have they been in Marseille for?
Nuvish: Wait a sec… Since 1997 I think.
Sggum: Did you meet them in Marseille?
Nuvish: No, It was in Paris. They had their workshop in the squat of Ris-Orangis in the suburbs. .
We looked at some scale model which he made for the animated film Les Religions Sauvages produced by LDC. They portray bleak free parties. He showed me the different materials he used to allow the spots behind to create visual effects. We spoke about Léo and he said to me that he was a good friend of him. I started to look once more at a A1 screen print which is a view of Grenoble. In the background stands La Bastille (a fort which was designed by Vauban in the Renaissance). I was amazed that actually the screen print is maybe height time bigger than the original drawing (he sold it some times ago) and it still contains so many little details.
Sggum: Where exactly did you draw it?
Nuvish: There was an undeveloped land in Rue du Vercors.
Sggum: Hey! That’s where I live!
Nuvish: It doesn’t exist anymore there is a parking instead. There used to be bushes and trees in it.
Sggum: Did you draw it there?
Nuvish: No I did it from memory at home. I went there quite often because I am very much interested in plants. I sketched some of them.
I immediately remembered that two weeks ago he had said to me on the phone that loads of his work focused on the border between city and nature. I situated once more the bird and the cat hidden in the picture.
Nuvish : One afternoon a cat was tracking a bird.
Nuvish: It’s a shame I don’t have any copy of my first comics here. I self-published it when I was fifteen years old. That’s when I decided to draw a lot: I though nothing else did matter.”
We went downstairs to have a look at his books. He showed me the plate he is carving to produce etchings with Ludovic Levasseur. One of them symbolises nuclear waists.
Nuvish: For the etching which I showed you when we were upstairs I drew beneath the bridge over Le Drac so I could get the perspective right.
We had a look at his books and actually it was a bit frustrating because I knew that they were all sold out.
Sggum: This style looks like the drawing you made for La Monstrueuse! (Edited by Chacal Puant, Blanquet).
Nuvish: It is the same period.
He evoked once more Le Dernier Cri and Paquito Bolino’s temperament: very active and directive.
Nuvish: LDC tried many different strategies to promote their work. Pakito is “branché” (chuckles). He is very aware of many graphic techniques. Have a look at this book, Pakito coloured it some times ago.
We started to speak about the texts which were present in the books produced by LDC and he said to me that Leatitia and Fredox did travel a lot. He showed me a book with a cover by Fredox and I couldn’t recognize his style.
Nuvish: Fredox has many different abilities. He has worked for Jean Paul Gauthier for ten years. He makes visuals.
When we spoke about mental institution he said to me that we were fragile little things.
Sggum: Hey! The title of this painting is "Kundalini"! The serpent of fire!
Nuvish: Some mysticisms look at the pelvis as being the skull of a saurian.
I remembered that two weeks ago after I’d said to him on the phone that I had the impression that some of his work was about transfiguration and transformation, strangely he stayed silent.
It was time for the kids to go to bed so I left. I realised on the way to my flat that I had lost my keys. So I came back to his place. I knocked very quietly in order not to wake his children up. My keys had fallen from my pocket when we sat on the floor to look at his drawings.