François Schuiten, the man of 'Les Cités Obscures'
François Schuiten was born in Brussels on 26 April 1956 into a family of architects. Since 1980, he has worked with Benoît Peeters on the "Les Cités obscures" series. It is the cult work of the two authors. Packed with references to our world, in particular architectural ones, the towns which he presents belong to a parallel universe. These albums have been translated into about a dozen languages and have received many prizes.
In 2002, he was awarded the Grand Prix de la ville d'Angoulême, a title that rewards authors for their life's work, more commonly known as the Angoulême Festival, which is the main French-language comic strip festival and the most important one in Europe in terms of recognition and cultural influence. However, Schuiten should not simply be reduced to a comic strip author as he is a multi-talented man. He designed the metro stations of "Porte de Hal" in Brussels and "Arts et Métiers" on line 11 of the Paris network: covered with copper and with portholes that show the inventions. In 2005, he decorated the tower of Jules Verne's house in Amiens with an armillary sphere and implemented a large trompe-l'œil fresco that decorates the neighbouring wall and depicts journeys around the world. He also designed the huge Utopia Pavilion which welcomed five million visitors at the Universal Exhibition in Hanover in 2000, as well as the Belgian Pavilion at the Aichi Exhibition in 2005. With Benoît Peeters and the architect Francis Metzger, he was also involved in restoring the first Art Nouveau building by the great Belgian architect Victor Horta: the Maison Autrique, now an exhibition venue. In collaboration with Expoduo, he worked on the scenography for the "Train World" museum at Schaerbeek station (Brussels), inaugurated on 25 September 2015.
You can view the artist's works here.
Photo: © Wikipedia