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M. CHAT Sold at Auction Prices

b. 1977 -

Thoma Vuille is a painter Franco -Swiss born in Boudry in the canton of Neuchâtel the 16 July 1977 . He is the creator of the graphic series M. CHAT , smiling feline character created in the streets of Orléans in a process combining optimism, transgression and culture nearby.

Thoma Vuille began street painting in acrylic and 15, in memory of his grandfather, a house painter . After a professional baccalaureate in civil engineering , he studied at the Institute of Visual Arts of Orleans from 1995 to 2001 . He became known as the author of the series Mr. CHAT , graphic designs representing a cat yellow orange with smiling faces, usually done with acrylic paint on walls. The idea came to him in 1997 during a workshop in Orléans school in which a little girl carried a cartoon cat that inspires the artist. It then proceeds to paint her cat on the walls of the city of Orleans, preferably at roof level, with the sole aim of "putting the human and love in the city: Orleans was a city rather gray and needed a little sun everywhere . "He intends to convey optimism that animal grinning. He signed his works of a mysterious "Mr. CHAT" to "whether a design can live without creator . "He leaves behind and believe that these graffiti hides a collective of artists . Thoma Vuille then began an international career. He painted his Mr. CHAT Tours, Nantes, Saint-Etienne, Paris, London, Vienna, Geneva and New York, and the now famous cat appeared in 2004 on the esplanade of the Pompidou Centre for the TV movie perched Cats of Chris Marker in 2005 the tram Sarajevo in 2006 in a new York event .

March 18, 2007, Thoma Vuille is caught by the municipal police while he decorates a wall of Orleans . It is thus compelled to reveal the identity of Mr. CHAT creator, but justice will pronounce against him a symbolic sentence of 300 euros fine suspended . He abandons his status graffiti underground to work in partnership with institutions such as the City of Orleans or the Poitou-Charentes Regional Council . This development is sometimes criticized because it is interpreted as a renunciation of a critical approach and as a commodification of the concept of M. CHAT , what the artist defends himself by arguing that his art matures and after ten years at RMI , he longs to live his work . It also keeps a permissive attitude to the urban environment it is possible, he said, to appropriate despite legal prohibitions. In 2008, he condone the illegal use of a public bike found in the street arguing that this service must be convenient and accessible "to the end", even accepting flights if it is for users "get gorge to your heart . "
Mr. Cat in the Chatelet metro station in Paris July 7, 2014

Similarly, in 2014, he justified the paint, not authorized by the RATP , its Mr. CHAT at Châtelet metro by asking again the question of ownership of the public space: "Is that as an user, you can get ideas on decorating our environment? My drawing is really more than tens Offensive advertisements permanently displayed in the corridors of the metro ? "To the question" What are your obsessions and how they nourish your work? "He said" The report to the authority and transgression resulting . "

The work of Thoma Vuille is a constant variation of the figure of Mr. CHAT whose trait ensured over the years . The design is simple, the clear line: the yellow cat is smiling and at first the effect of a logo . However, it can not be reduced as well: "The cat is not available in logotype, but stealthily captivates us ." Deriving from street art , it deploys its "cartoonish figure " in multiple positions, front or in profile, with or without wings, alone or with . Mr. CHAT has a strong identity, but "supports changes ." Its very simplicity allows it to reach a symbolic dimension .

The smile of Mr. CHAT, already on the drawing of the girl that inspired it, is part of the explanation for the attraction exerted by the work of Thoma Vuille and making it, according to Nora Monnet, "a manifestation of benevolence universal destination, open poetic proposal in the world . "It evokes the" grinning cat "of Lewis Carroll by his enigmatic and fascinating character .

By emancipating the street painting, the art of Thoma Vuille has taken another dimension. His performances , away from the individualistic world of graffiti , aim to circumvent the usual reluctance and to share the art in a culture of proximity .

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