Before being an illustrator Vincent Mahé is an observer. One of those capable of seeing things that most people miss. And then to capture those details and with sensitivity and immediate synthesis to be able to translate them into universal and delicate micro stories, discreet, languid, so intense and yet so candid.
In Smoke, the 1995 film directed by Wayne Wang, written and co-directed by Paul Auster, the protagonist Auggie Wren every morning, at eight o’clock, places his tripod and camera in front of his tobacconist in New York and takes a picture on the corner of Third Street and Seventh Avenue. A romantic and curious approach that immediately reminds me of Mahé’s work.
“That’s why I can never take a vacation. I’ve got to be in my spot every morning. Every morning in the same spot at the same time – he said – It’s my project. What you’d call my life’s work. It’s my corner, after all. It’s just one little part of the world, but things happen there, too, just like everywhere else. It’s a record of my little spot. “.
The place is the same, but each photo is different from the other. As in the illustrations of Vincent Mahé, the places are those of the cities we live, that we see every day, but the stories they host are always different.
You’ve got your bright mornings and your dark mornings. You’ve got your summer light and your autumn light. You’ve got your weekdays and your weekends. You’ve got your people in overcoats and galoshes, and you’ve got your people in shorts and T-shirts. Sometimes the same people, sometimes different ones. And sometimes the different ones become the same, and the same ones disappear. The earth revolves around the sun, and every day the light from the sun hits the earth at a different angle.
Take your time. You will never understand if you don’t try to slow down.