Sasha Watson talks to artist Marc-Antoine Mathieu about creating a graphic novel for the most famous museum in the world and “pulling the image out of time” with his comics. Photography by Jef Rabillon.
Note to the reader: Click each image for a full-size version.
It had been several years since I’d last spoken with comics artist Marc-Antoine Mathieu but when I got him on the phone, I remembered how thrilling and exhausting it could be to talk to him. Within moments of making the connection between his home in France and mine in Los Angeles, I was mentally dashing after him as he leapt from particle physics to the significance of the first cave paintings to Proust and the nature of time. Mathieu is well-known in France as a graphic novelist who, with every book, expands the boundaries of the form. He does this with a unique combination of intellectual weightiness and the purest sense of play. It’s the same in conversation; he’ll be discussing a mathematical or philosophical concept, about which he’s read widely and consulted several experts, and then suddenly he’s laughing—you’re both laughing—at some comical application of the idea. Trying to keep up with him is thought-provoking and funny and exhilarating, and it’s all those things at the exact same time.