Joël Person at the first edition of the Drawing Festival in Arles

Published on April 6, 2023


Joël Person participates in the first edition of the Arles drawing festival, among 41 other artists, initiated by Vera Michalski and Frédéric Pajak. 


Drawing is the first art form we come across in childhood; it is also the first known art form used by our prehistoric ancestors. Despite a long history of being left on the sidelines and overlooked in favour of painting, drawing has seen a resurgence in recent years in schools of fine art, galleries and museums. Vera Michalski, president of the Libella publishing group, and Frédéric Pajak, an illustrator, writer and director of Les Cahiers Dessinés publishing house, took the initiative to give this art form its full scope by creating the « Festival du Dessin », an annual festival dedicated to it that will interest both the general public and discerning audiences. What better place to host such an event than the city of Arles, famed for the beauty of its historical monuments, Van Gogh and the Rencontres d’Arles festival of photography? From 2023 onwards, the most magnificent venues in Arles – museums, churches, cloisters, private mansions, foundations and cultural hubs – will welcome the Festival du Dessin every spring. Theatres, bookshops and cinemas will also be participating, as will educational institutions, to showcase more than 1,000 works and some forty artists, for the most part established, as well as some forgotten or as yet little-known figures. It will create a dialogue between artistic drawing, comic art, editorial cartoons, art brut drawings and alternative drawings – those produced by writers, filmmakers and major fashion figures.   Taking place over three weeks and four weekends, the Festival du Dessin aims to hold debates, meet-and-greets and autograph sessions with today’s illustrators, film screenings, concerts and many other celebratory events alongside the exhibitions.

Joël Person will exhibit at the Saint-Césaire enclosure as well as at the Espace Van Gogh, alongside Hervé Di Rosa and Anna Sommer.

He will also participate in the drawing concert of the National Orchestra of Cannes on May 3 at the Théâtre Antique in Arles. He will realize a performance of drawings on the spot, projected live on a giant screen, in collaboration with Anna Sommer.