Philippe Katerine brings his cute despair to Quebec

“Cuteness” is the name that the French artist, actor, songwriter and performer gave to this artistic movement of which he proclaims himself the sole representative and which was born during the pandemic.

“It comes from a little anxiety, a little paranoia… I was playing with modeling clay and I made a pink character with the hands in front to form the regulatory distance,” he recalled in an interview with The sun Thursday afternoon. As he was asked for an exhibition in Paris, he chose to do it with characters similar to the one he had fashioned with his hands and he made them in the studio where he works.

“I find it quite funny to see them outside my room. They are desperate characters, but I’m told there’s something cute about that, hence the term ‘cuteness’. These are all characters who are close to falling, who cannot find their place. My first exhibition was in a department store and there was a fat Monsieur Rose who projected himself onto a perfumery kiosk, as if to commit suicide. But, I don’t know why, the children loved it!” he explains.

The colorful interpreter of My heart balances, Fuck you And The banana also admits that he did not expect so much popularity for his “Monsieur Roses”. “I thought they would take a tour and then leave, but then China asked me about it, soon it will be Sweden. It’s been three years and I’m still asked for them,” indicates the artist whose real name is Philippe Blanchard and whose works presented at EXMURO will not represent Monsieurs Roses, but will still remain in the “cute” current, in the sense that these are anguished works that still have the potential to make you smile.


Philippe Katerine’s inflatable Mister Roses, who represent “cuteness”, will soon appear in Quebec while the resin ones are already in the streets of Montreal. (Gabriel_de_la_Chapelle/Figure_agency88)

With Lenoir

Philippe Katerine is also preparing a new album to be released in October, the title of which has not yet been chosen, nor all the pieces that will compose it among those he has recorded. Some of these pieces were created with the Quebec singer-songwriter Hubert Lenoir, for whom the Frenchman admits his great admiration.

“I have known Hubert since his first album and I find his second even juicier, sexier. It’s not for nothing that it was called Direct music! His way of singing is not the same as the others. There is his accent, but also the fact that he renews his music.

— Philippe Katerine

The two artists had met during a radio show in France. “We sang songs by Françoise Hardy,” remembers Katerine, and he then joined her in a studio. “We had to invent texts on the spot, like in a collective,” he remembers about his meeting with Lenoir.

“We immediately feel that he is a star, he is not like the others. He is very active and very enthusiastic,” he continues, adding that he is satisfied with the results of his recordings with Lenoir. “I never expect anything, so I’m never disappointed!”

In show


Philippe Katerine is having fun on stage with his sidekick Philippe Eveno. (Caroline Grégoire/The Sun)

During the conference show given by Katerine on Thursday evening in front of 200 people at La Nef, Hubert Lenoir was also on hand to attend his friend’s performance. Katerine did not disappoint anyone, ending her hour and a half performance to loud applause.

Dressed in a pale blue sweater, white pants and white cowboy boots, he first read a few passages from his book What I know about death, what I know about love while on screen, a film created by his partner Philippe Eveno with drawings by Katerine and music by Boney M, Motorhead and Barry White illustrated his introspective and playful message. For example that René Goscinny, the creator of Asterix, died during an appointment with the cardiologist who had made him do physical tests, too many physical tests… Or that William S. Burroughs killed his companion Joan d ‘a bullet in the head in Mexico while trying to reproduce the ordeal of William Tell…

Then, Eveno, beige raincoat, black jeans and guitar in hand, took his turn on stage to join him and the two performed around ten pieces tinged with the sweet poetic madness of Katerine, of Good morning! has Perfect moment Passing by Philip And There were trees by Charles Trenet. You had to hear, and see, Chicken No 728120, Mustache And Death to poetryperformed while the artist was messing around a bit after taking off his sweater.

Or, this totally distorted and interminable recorder solo which Eveno ended by making the spectators laugh. The audience wanted more, and Katerine gave them a little more, always with that teasing smile, those delicious facial expressions and her way of being that always makes us wonder where this crazy, twisting and, let’s say, character stops. -the cute one that he presents to us each time he visits.



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