Tarbes: a book that enchants the capital of Bigorra

Tarbes: a book that enchants the capital of Bigorra

the important thing
This is one of the best works on Tarbes in recent years, which urgently needs to be put under the Christmas tree: the capital of Bigorre is sublimated like never before by the pencil of Dominique Eyheramendy in “Tarbes, my illustrated city”.

We enter the author’s lair, in the shade of the rue de l’Agriculture, between an artist’s studio with exposed beams under the roofs of Tarbes and Pixar’s mini-studio, with state-of-the-art digital tools. The book “Tarbes, my illustrated city” is a bit of a sum of everything that represents this genius of “every craftsman”, restorer of houses and “realistic” painter of Pyrenean landscapes, traveler around the world in his free time. , former graphic designer at Arsenal then independent. “And yet, this book doesn’t fit the style of what I normally do at all. It wasn’t calculated at all and it shouldn’t exist,” laughs Dominique Eyheramendy, a native of Tarbes, because her name doesn’t say that.

“Something sweet and poetic”

This little jewel of paper, printed in Escourbiac in Graulhet, was not entirely by chance created by “this lover of books and his city, who usually travels by bicycle and who does not have a TV”, self-taught des Beaux-Arts and self-proclaimed “lup”. While he was drawing posters on the nearby Church of St. Anne and other places in Tarbes, the idea for the project germinated in his mind. “The book came about through a conversation with the environment,” says the author, especially with his daughter Julie, also a graphic designer by profession, who is doing the finishing touches and that the father “crumpled” the place in Bois, walking with his suitcase. The result is incredible: it’s been a long time since the book once again enchanted the capital of Bigorre in such a dazzling way, with illustrations that are both “out of time”, but so much time, served by an environment in modern pages and a very attractive yellow-orange cover. The author also played on contrasts to make this book unique in its genre: color-toned renderings “scanned, vectorized and colorized on the computer” on the left page, and “intimate bias” on the right page with pencil drawings of the finesse and refinement of a lacemaker. Digital technology in the service of art on the one hand, hyperstylized economy of means on the other.

“Nice human encounters”

“I wanted something gentle and poetic, also illustrations that transform reality. I didn’t want a catalog of buildings. I made subjective choices, but I don’t think I overlooked the emblematic buildings of the city,” comments Dominique Eyheramendy, who decided to “highlight” the “impoverished” and fallen houses into oblivion, invisible like the one next to the prefecture. “I also wanted it to be human, to reflect the working class and folk side of the city,” adds the author. Not only are the trades of Tarbes, such as the chefs of the Epicerie, the chocolate maker Xavier Berger or the wine merchant Baxellerie, presented in the heat of the moment, but the author allows himself “hints” in the delicate revival of the postal tricycle, Théophile Gautier in front of the high school carrying his name or Marshal Foch, he is honored in front of the museum, or real characters or characters from his imagination, sometimes earthly and/or characteristic of this city from the southwest. “Portraits” that gave the author the opportunity for “nice human encounters” such as the owner of the Berger chocolate factory building Bernard Resseguier or one of the founders of the Ormeau polyclinic Bernard Couderc. The book “Tarbes, my illustrated city” is on sale in all good bookstores and in Biocoop Tarbes.

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