Interview with Sempé

Jean-Marc Palisse

The famous cartoonist of "Petit Nicolas" Sempé returns exhibit at City Hall. With over three hundred drawings on "Paris and some elsewhere." The opportunity of a funny interview.

"That's it! Go again!". To the first question put to him, Sempé grumbles: "I have already said everything." True, he was interrogated for hours for the purposes of a documentary that will air in the fall on France 5 at the time of exposure to the City of Paris. But Jean-Jacques Sempé abhors interviews, he almost never gives in, they prevent it from working. Because, yes, to 79 years, this giant white hair is his board daily, meticulous, focused.
Its gallery and friend Martine Gossieaux standby y; Paris Match awaits his sketches he publishes every two weeks since 1956. A bear, Sempé? Say, a teddy ...  

Interview with Sempé

A cigarette in hand, pen in the other, his cloth on her lap - essential grigri - the designer chasing the muse since his studio in Montparnasse; the head in the sky, he seeks obstinately the comical phrase that will spark an illustration. Do not think it is inspired to pace the city. "If I walk, I scatters me". Not a single book of sketches in his pocket. He notes nothing. "In the street, what do you see? A dog crossing? A man who runs and loses his hat? Sometimes two cars collide? This is not a humorous drawing." 

Sempé Paris draw

The designer loves crunching the mythical places of the capital

Paris! Sempé is in love since he rose from his native Bordeaux here just six decades. Although the capital has changed.. "The bonhomie vanished There was a sort of mess that was funny; now it's a little lady nervousness ran behind the platform of the bus, we tried all together to grab him; now, Parisians are worried, anxious, aggressive You could approach a pretty girl without fear that it gallops to the police ...! ". Nostalgia of the seducer. The look of the designer, he has lost none of his affection. 

His Luxembourg garden is imaginary; Yet, we feel a bit at home here, it is recognized chess players, followers of Transcendental gymnastics that animate the aisles. Sempé crunches detail grew to madness; loneliness in the crowd; the last point of greenery in a neighborhood under reconstruction; the taxi driver, impassive, who, waiting to be set, triggering a massive traffic jam; a city coquette enjoying the sunshine between two gigantic buildings to tan ... We love it! We told him and here he relents. Sempé, whose albums have been translated into twenty-five languages, including Korean, Sempé has produced over one hundred covers for the New Yorker, he really needs that evokes his talent? feigned modesty? Whatever! Our compliments have earned us a friendly smile, we willingly offer him armfuls. 

Exhibition "Sempé, a bit of Paris and elsewhere", from 21 October 2011 to 11 February 2012, every day except Sundays and holidays, 10 am to 19 pm. City Hall of Paris, 75004. See also his album "A little bit of Paris", Gallimard, 2002. 

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