«If I hadn’t created my own world, I would probably have died in other people’s»Said Anaïs Nin. Free and open to the satisfaction of her desires, the world of the famous American diarist was forged by a long and trying introspection. Married in the 1930s, at the age of twenty to the financier Hugo Guiler, the young woman will feel torn between her narrow life as a wife and a freer and more fulfilling existence. Sincerely in love with her husband, Anaïs Nin will deploy a myriad of double lives and lies to satisfy her quest for freedom.
Fascinated by her diary, since her adolescence, the author Léonie Bischoff, 39, offers a tasty and prodigious adaptation of the early years of the artist in the making: “I didn’t want to do a real biography, but rather an instinctive interpretation of her sensory universe that she sets up through her writing, explains the designer. I circumscribed the narration on the constitutive years of his artistic blossoming, in particular his meeting with Henry Miller and his reunion with his father.»
The album takes us to the beginning of the 1930s. Anaïs Nin lives in Louveciennes, torn between her social obligations and the desire to escape from a world of shackles plunging her into an abyss of depression. Feeling trapped, she finds a loophole in her journal entry.
Léonie Bischoff offers a delicious and captivating immersion in the throes of an aspiring author. Doubting her legitimacy, she struggles to gain the opportunity to flourish in her art. Assiduous exploration of its contradictions, decisive encounters, discovery of the delights of unbridled sexuality, creative bubbling … Interweaving reality and personal vision, the designer highlights the metamorphosis of a woman who will allow herself everything in the name of the writing. An exciting dive relayed by a clean line wonderfully enhancing the sensuality of the one who has put desire and self-acceptance at the heart of her work. Without forgetting the art deco representations of the sea, undulating and bubbling, emerging throughout the work, like superb dreamlike touches.
The BD box: Léonie Bischoff’s decryption
«This plate represents the ambiguity that intrinsically characterizes Anaïs Nin. It was the aspect of this character that interested me the most. To dynamically stage this feeling that pulls her tight, I imagined this dialogue between her and her double, the physical embodiment of her diary. Graphically there is a contrast between the real world woman, pictured with a structured hairstyle, an elegant and decent evening gown, and her more shapeless double outfit. I decked it out with the drape of a Greek statue to accentuate the mythological, allegorical dimension of the character. To visually mark this difference between the two women, I adopted a fairly refined line, without shading to represent the heroine while the double has more substance. As if to illustrate the more mysterious and uncontrollable dimension of this dark side that inhabits it.
The gradual distance of the two characters accentuates this perpetual tug-of-war. Initially, the two women close to each other with their hair tangled in tight planes, gradually move away from each other. This variation of framing highlights the hesitations of the author who will sometimes feel in tune with this disturbing voice and sometimes in total opposition. In a rather abrupt gesture, the heroine will want to silence this other facet more liberated from herself that prevents her from fully appreciating the stability that her husband Hugo brings her. She loves him and salutes his qualities from the first boxes, but in her inner forum, she knows that is not enough for her. Even if this discordant voice disturbs her, Anaïs Nin perceives a door to a more creative world.
Technically, I used a pencil with a multicolored lead, encompassing the three primary colors which mix and change very quickly. I enjoyed using this random tool which I do not master everything. A few digital tweaks did the rest. ”
Anaïs Nin, on the sea of lies, Léonie Bischoff, Casterman editions, 23.50 euros