Friday, August 22, 2014

The Supplement: Josep Baqué

"Decked out in claws, pincers, pustules and shells, the monsters created by Josep Baqué (1895-1967) bespeak anything but glamor. And yet his fanciful bestiary, drawn up of figures rendered at once attractive and repulsive by their creator, incites our curiosity, fascination and amusement. 

Josep Baqué, who was born in Barcelona in 1895, was seen as a somewhat uncontrollable troublemaker within his family circle. His father worked in a ceramic tile factory. An uncle of his who worked in a textile finishing factory introduced him to the decorative arts and popular prints. Indeed, at a very early age, Josep Baqué became enthralled by the illustrated publications and magazines of his day. At the age of seventeen, the young man left home for France, and then Germany, during which time he worked at various odd jobs—notably, as a warehouseman, kitchen helper and stone carver. The declaration of war in 1914 obliged him to return to Spain, where he was drafted. He joined the municipal police force as a traffic policeman and peace officer in 1928, and continued at that job until his death in 1967. 

This creator lived withdrawn from the world, in solitude and bachelorhood until very late in life. Living in a highly unobtrusive fashion, he left behind a very singular world made up of a multitude of imaginary figures and animals.

His production amounts to 454 plates comprising 1500 drawings, classified by their creator himself into nine categories: animals and wild beasts / primitive men / bats and insects / giant spiders / snakes / snails / octopuses and cuttlefish / feathered animals / diverse fish. All these were assembled into a cardboard case of this creator's own making."

More monsters here!

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