Champagne Paul Hérard – Cuvée 2000 Paul Hérard 13 x 18 x 3cm (approx.) wooden box 1 black & white certificate, 6 colour plates 10.5 x 15.5cm
A French family-run Champagne house Paul Hérard (first established in 1925) decided to come up with a unique way to celebrate the upcoming 2nd millennium with their Cuvée 2000 champagne vintage. Paul Hérard commissioned 6 artists to each create a unique decorative champagne label around the theme of the year 2000 as part of a limited edition numbered & signed boxset of only 200.
The artists chosen for this unique commission were:
Jean-Christophe Chauzy, Fabrice Lebeault, Emmanuel Lepage, Mezzo, Sylvain Savoia and of course Moebius.
Presented in a handsome wooden box, the Cuvée 2000 boxset is opened by sliding it’s lid outwards to reveal the certificate of authenticity bearing the head of Dionysus (Greek)/Bacchus (Roman) the deity of wine and ecstasy and below that the boxset’s edition number handwritten in pencil. Underneath the certificate is the 6 beautifully designed champagne labels, each mounted onto a card and numbered & signed by the artist in pencil underneath.
A toast to Jean Giraud on what would have been his 81st birthday today…
À VOTRE SANTÉ & CHEERS TO MOEBIUS!
If you are new to Moebius’ prolific artistic output and wish to own a unique signed piece from the master himself but at an accessible price then you can’t go wrong with acquiring a bookplate or Ex-Libris. An Ex-Libris is a small decorative print that is often found on the front endpaper of books and usually accompanied collectors edition art books by Moebius. These Ex-Libris were often hand signed by Moebius and numbered in pencil to a small circulation such as a couple of hundred (sometimes even less) and always printed on premium card stock.
If you are interested in getting an Ex-Libris by Moebius then they can be found through secondary markets such as online auction sites and collector’s forums. Before committing to make a purchase however buyer’s must be cautious (as with finding anything online) and are recommended to first thoroughly research any prospective listings for accuracy and also communicate with the seller before placing your interest (and money) to avoid disappointment.
Mockba (1990) Stardom 11.5 x 15cm, 85 black & white and colour pages
Mockba (pronounced Moskvá and how the Russians write the name of their capital city Moscow in Cyrillic), is a small signed and numbered limited edition of 1500 and the first publication under Moebius’ Stardom imprint released in 1990. Mockba’s little red book presentation is a clear nod to Chairman Mao’s “Little Red Book” of the People’s Republic of China. The author and title text on the front cover are in large, gold lettering and set to the likeness of Moebius’ own handwriting whereas underneath the subtitle “Carnet de bords” (which means “record book” or “log-book” in English) is in smaller, uppercase lettering.
As you open this tome you discover a short 2 page introduction in French by Moebius that in English roughly translates:
“Carnet de bords
There is a tradition of the travel diary, which seems to be threatened by all the modern processes of film-making, all of them more and more practical, more and more efficient.
However, a simple notebook and some pencils can alone open all the doors of imagination and dreams.
Thus, over the years, I have filled many notebooks, some dragging in the back of my pockets for many months, filling up slowly, random waiting, dirty airport seats or even subway platforms … Others, more rarely, closing in one go, like this one, by example, realised in a short week and almost exclusively in the sinister and disproportionate hall of a big hotel in Moscow.
Sometimes, drawings and texts correspond well to the idea that one is commonly made of a travel note, but most of the time, one will search in vain for any relation with a place or a precise event. We can even estimate that the artist will have done as well, if not better, staying at home in the comfort of his studio.
However, these devotional drawings, even and especially the abstract ones, are transcriptions of states that could only be provoked by the journey and its tribulations, sketches on the spot, not of what happens in front of the eyes of the traveler, but from what is happening behind, where the magic mirror of the secret reality of the world unfolds to infinity.”
Beneath Moebius’ introduction is a drawing of a figure seated on a bench, writing into a small book (not unlike the one the reader is currently holding in their hands) and beside them a suitcase covered in stamps likely of places that they have visited.
Once you explore more inside Mockba, the more the pages resemble a sort of personal sketchbook and flows like a visual diary kept by Moebius in 1989 which for historical context was the same year that the Berlin Wall fell in Germany that once separated East and West Berlin and that would lead to the Reunification of Germany, followed years later by the collapse of the Soviet Union in Russia.
Voyage d’Hermès/Voyage of Hermès (2010) Hermès 33 x 41cm, 9 colour plates press release
Even up until the very last years of his life on Earth, Moebius was just as prodigious as his glorious peak in the 1970s & 1980s and his style was still constantly growing in mastery of his nib (both on paper and later digitally on a Wacom Cintiq graphics tablet) with each ebb and flow ceaseless and never slowing down. Moebius would craft some of his most magnificent pieces of artwork commissioned for a new perfume line by the fashion house Hermès, Paris called Voyage d’Hermès (Voyage of Hermès), that despite being some of the most sublime masterpieces by Moebius ever committed to page just for a mere dossier de presse (press release) was sadly for one reason or another ultimately abandoned by Hermès!?
Of an edition of only 3100 the Voyage d’Hermès press release printed in Nava, Italy, comes sandwiched together by two pieces of thick hardboard and is held tightly together by a Hermès ribbon to protect the inside pages.
On the opening sheet reads “Les Mondes Élémentaires: Un Voyage Imaginé et Dessiné par Moebius” (The Elemental Worlds: An Imagined and Drawn Journey by Moebius) and underneath on the bottom-right hand side of the page an official Hermès embossed stamp pressed onto the paper. Behind the loose front sheet holds the soft leaves of parchment paper, carefully joined from end to end that fold out to reveal 9 vivid coloured illustrations of epic scale and depth.
The 9 immersive images, each like nine wonders of the world, flow from page to page like visual poetry and told across air, land and sea. It follows a protagonist who resembles one of the repairmen from Le Monde d’Edena (The World of Edena) who is on a voyage of adventure following in the wings of a marvellous multicoloured bird.
On the back hardboard is mounted a CD containing promotional product shots of the perfume Voyage d’Hermès bottle.
[NSFW] Les Jardins d’Eros/The Gardens of Eros (2005) Stardom 24 x 32cm, 14 black & white plates portfolio
Following in the spirit of the Eros X Libris erotic portfolio, Moebius would release another portfolio exploring sexuality under the Stardom imprint called Les Jardins d’Eros (The Gardens of Eros) of a signed and numbered limited edition of 400.
Les Jardins d’Eros explores erotica through the surreal dreamscapes of Désert “B” (of 40 Days Dans Le Désert “B”), drawing on the visual language of mythology, symbolism and the supernatural. Each black & white plate is elegantly and meticulously drawn by Moebius with exotic characters and scenarios in an imagined sensual pleasure garden.
Released a year later within the pages of Senso Magazine N°24 on the theme of Cinéma, Moebius drew a unique short 8 page colour comic centred around a cartoon avatar version of the artist himself (a concept first introduced in La Déviation and expanded further in his autobiographical stream of consciousness tomes Inside Moebius) who plays an erotic film director shooting film scenes that parody his own plates from Les Jardins d’Eros.