Lot 96
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PHILIPPE JARBINET AIRBORNE 44 Wild Men (T.10), Casterman 2022 Original plate no. 1. Signed. Watercolor and India ink on paper 35.8 × 47.8 cm (14.09 × 18.82 in.) The Airborne 44 series is a fictional story set in a perfect historical reconstruction of the progress of the Allied armies in the reconquest of Europe, just before the Von Rundstedt counter-offensive in the Ardennes. This episode features Jay, a racist white man from Alabama, and Virgil, a black man from Atlanta. The series is not only fascinating and well-documented, it also relies on sober chromatics and subtle atmospheres. A benchmark in the genre. Didier Pasamonik This plate is the first in Volume 10 of Airborne 44. It follows immediately on from the last plate in the previous volume, in which the two main characters were plunging into hostile territory, even though the tension between them was palpable. They pass close to a B-25 Mitchell bomber that has crashed on its way back from a raid on Germany. As the fifth diptych takes place in eastern Belgium, I preferred to add this historical visual element rather than a narrative specifying the time and place. Indeed, the whole of this vast region lay on the shortest route between central Germany and the airfields of southern England, where the bombers were stationed to destroy the Reich's industrial infrastructure in preparation for its future invasion. After the war, a number of aircraft were found all over the forests, most of them butchered for scrap. Some of them, often at the request of local residents, have nevertheless had their fate engraved in the stone of a monument. A few names of crew members, often American, British, Polish, French, Canadian... The snow enveloping the shattered plane lends this plate a heavy immobility, contrasting with the lightness of the small jeep arriving in the background. What do two lonely, fragile men represent in this global conflict, when even the might of engineering is breaking teeth against the stubborn resistance of a nation that refuses to lose the war? How many more men will have to give their lives, the only lives they have, for a goal so vast and still so far away? What's more, as they leave this first board, these two men - one white, one black - must find a way to put an end to another conflict, just as immemorial as the war, and based on one of the main scourges that gives rise to them: racism. Philippe Jarbinet
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