One evening Michael and I were walking down the rue Saint-Sulpice in Paris and saw this beautifully dressed man, looking more 1940s than 21st century, leaning against his bicycle and peering into a shop window. I knew I was staring, but I couldn’t take my eyes away. His looks were perfect and so reminiscent of the people who appear in the work of a French artist we both love, Frédéric Saint-Aubin.
Saint-Aubin, who works only in folded colored paper, has created a sophisticated world that never existed, but is so chic and lovely that you want to to be transported to it immediately. His people are all stylish and have an air of easy elegance.
We recently ran into this couple of Saint-Aubin people in a window in Paris (but I can’t remember where):
And this is a fellow we know well, he lives in our house in Connecticut, although has no idea how he got there. He still thinks he’s cafe-sitting sometime in the ’50s. (So Fred Astaire, yes?)
Seeing Saint-Aubin’s characters, you can see why the man on this bicycle was so stunning to us. I’ve lived in the neighborhood for 20 years, but had never seen Mr. BicycleMan before. I looked for him everyday after this sighting, but he never appeared again. Life – and art – can be like that.