Not everyone can become a professional artist, even if you study Fine Art. Life is unpredictable. Jean Recoura studied at the best art school in France, the École des Beaux-Arts de Paris. After working for several years as a carnival crew member in amusement parks, he ended up working a tough job in a retirement home. When you talk to him about it, he will admit that no part of his job is funny and that drawing and painting when he comes home is what helps him cope with the unavoidable presence of death in his daily job. He always took his work environment as a main subject for his art, that’s why he started a zine called Vieux —vieux is a pejorative way to talk about old people.
Recoura is a painter, therefore his zines are made with an accumulation of layers just like paintings are. He usually photocopies his drawings and paintings, and then paints the photocopies and photocopies them again. So even if he makes around a hundred copies of an issue of Vieux, each copy he assembles is unique, handmade and hand-painted. The drawings are very rough just like the subject is, they are usually accompanied by sentences heard during the day in the retirement home.

On a funnier note, Recoura also publishes Murge Mag (Binge Magazine), a zine composed of drawings made while being really wasted. He admits that most of them don’t make any sense the day after, but they might be a way to recall what happened the night before. If the drawings of Vieux are rough, the ones of Murge Mag are even worse, and sometimes close to abstraction.

 

Each zine is unique, so the number of pages may vary.
Jean Recoura, Vieux #1, Paris, Self-published, 2015, Painted Photocopy, open edition.


 

Jean Recoura, Vieux #2, Paris, Self-published, 2015, Painted Photocopy, open edition.


 

Jean Recoura, Murge #1, Paris, Self-published, 2015, Painted Photocopy, open edition.


 

Jean Recoura, Murge #2, Paris, Self-published, 2015, Painted Photocopy, open edition.


 

Jean Recoura, Vieux #X, Paris, Self-published, 2016, Painted Photocopy, open edition.


 

Jean Recoura, Vieux #X, Paris, Self-published, 2016, Painted Photocopy, open edition.