Career Timeline: 1990 - Quatre-vingt huiT
Moebius released an art book called Quatre-vingt huiT(which translates to 88) containing the many “non-figurative” drawings and paintings that he’d been fascinated with in the last couple of years:
“Outside of my regular comics work, what interests me the most is my work on abstract paintings- although it might be better if I were to refer to them as non-figurative paintings because I don’t think of them as abstract art. And, in fact, neither did a firend of mine who is an abstract painter.
Thes paintings do not represent any known objects or characters. Frankly, I do not know what they represent and I don’t want to find out. Maybe I will someday, but right now, the only thing I know is that these images are inside of me, and that I derive great pleasure from drawing them. This is the only reason I keep doing these paintings, because I certainly do not want to make any effort to get them to be “accepted”, or even become “popular”. This is purely personal work, which I am doing outside of my career, almost as a hobby.
There is a repeition in terms of themes, like variations on the same motif, a little like icons- although that is not what I am trying to do consciously. I just start in front of a sheet of white paper, with colors beside me, and I draw and draw, as in a dreamlike state. The result is what comes out. I’m the first to be surprised by it.
It is very possible that this is all a consequence of my work on crystals. My non-figurative paintings are a little like the opposite of crystals, which represented a conscious desire on my part to express the positive side of my nature. I do not repudiate my work on crystals becasue it was part of a larger experience, in which I was looking for ways to express beauty, both in physical and spiritual terms, and graphic non-violence.
But, as you know, one is never made of only light or clearness, but both. I believe I have always encouraged artists to express their duality, telling people who know how to show pain, horror and anger in their work to also look for ways of expressing their other face, the angelic face, the face of joy, but also encouraging those who express their inner beauty to accept their other side, their dark side, and express their pain and anger.
In my case, what I believe these paintings show is that I can express, and more, love, my dark side as much as I do my bright side, which is good and healthy.
An interesting aspect of my non-figurative paintings is that they often take on an organic look, which is like a return to the flesh. As you know, spiritual research often eliminates the body. The desires of the flesh are presented as an obstacle to spiritual achievement. Most exoteric traditions contain that duality of flesh and mind.
I drew crystals, and now I draw non-figurative paintings which sometimes look like internal organs, like guts. In my opinion, it’s wonderful becasue I love these as much as I loved the crystals.
I have no idea where all this is going to lead. Then again, I had no idea when I began drawing crystals, where they would lead me either. Maybe this is where they led. In that case, you could say that the crystals did the job they are supposed to do, that is to cure me. They cured me because they have enabled me to express my dark side with love.
And that dark side is already sublimated, becasue when it comes out, it is beautiful. Even though some of these paintings may seem morbid, I think they are beautiful.”
—Moebius, from The Art of Moebius(1989)