Surprisingly, Emile Mustacchi, painter, draftsman and emblematic and colorful figure from the heart of Perpignan (Pyrenees-Orientales), had never made a retrospective exhibition of his works. “I have always participated in collective clashes. At 78, this is my first major exhibition and not just anywhere, in the prestigious Pams hotel in Perpignan. The opening was a great success”, says the artist known for his quirky look and his mischievousness.
Above all, Emile Mustacchi, of Italian origin but definitely anchored in the Catalan country, demonstrates a sacred stroke of the pencil for portraits and nudes made in sanguine most of the time. “His life is a great adventure, says Iloah, his biographer and his lucky star. Born in Palermo, living with his parents in Morocco, he dropped out of school very early due to bullying. He left the school benches prematurely at the age of 9. Emile is bored on the farm near Casablanca. To keep him busy at home, his father bought him a box of paints. And so his career began. »
With his pencils and brushes, Emile travels. We find her trace in Brussels in the 1970s, in the artistic wake of Paola, then princess before becoming Queen of Belgium. Emile is then a regular at the royal castle of Belvedere. “I made portraits of her, of her children, and I had orders from everyone around her,” he recalls. His paintings and sketches of exceptional craftsmanship are disseminated throughout the world since the artist most often works to order.
Emile is very present in the social life and events of Perpignan. “He’s kind of the town’s mascot. Everyone knows him with his extravagant outfits,” continues Iloah, currently in the writing process: “It’s a reality tale for educational purposes centered on Emile, on the theme stay a kid and grow up “. In Perpignan, Emile is involved in all events. We discover him as a festive host in fashion shows, an actor in short films, in clips with Marlène, the French star of Spanish reality TV in the 1990s. Or even on the Lydia stage with Ophélie Winter then at the height of her artistic glory.
Exposure : EMILE MUSTACCHI “The work of his life”, Gl roof of the Hôtel Pams, 18 rue Émile Zola, Perpignan. Until June 25, 2023. Free entry. Tuesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-5.30 p.m. until May 31, then every day 10.30 a.m.-6.30 p.m.