November 14, 2006

Rues et Visages de New York

Charles Laborde (1886-1941), also knowned as Chas-Laborde, was borned in Buenos-Aires, Argentina, to french parents. He studied in Paris, at the Academie Julian and at the Beaux-Arts. He began, at the age of fifteen, to sell drawings to satirical magazines of Paris.
After War War I in which he was engaged, Charles Labordes travelled in England. He drew the bourgeois life and published his illustrations in Le Rire Rouge et La Baionnette. Chas-Laborde became then a full-time illustrator. He poke fun, with pleasure, of his own world, cartooned snobs et aristocrats between the two world ward. Influenced by the german artist Georg Grosz, to whom his work is often compared, Chas-Laborde illustrated a lot of novels.

He was also commissioned to illustrate a well-knowned serie of books about the streets and faces of famous cities :
- Rues et Visages de Paris, with text by Valery Larbaud
- Rues et Visages de Londres, with text by Pierre Mac Orlan
- Rues et Visages de Berlin, with text by de Jean Giradoux
- Rue et Visages de Moscou, with text by Chas-Laborde himself
- Rue et Visages de New York, with text by Paul Morand

The last folio of the serie, Rues et visages de New York, was published in 1950 after the death of Chas-Laborde. On each page, text et illustration complete each other to criticize social and cultural codes of the New York melting-pot. This book stigmatises the artificial dimension of the city and refers to the gap that seperate the rich from the poor.

Currently at Loliee's Bookshop :
- Rues et Visages de New-York, with text by Paul Morand - etchings by Chas-Laborde, Paris, Lacourière, 1950, in folio, in loose leaves, with illustrated paper covers. One of the 200 copies on velin d'Arches.
- Rues et Visages de Berlin, with text by Jean Giradoux - etchings by Chas-Laborde, Paris, La Roseraie, 1930, in folio, in loose leaves, with illustrated paper covers. One of the 90 copies on velin d'Arches.