La tour Saint Albert (Binche)
François Schuiten (°1956, Brussel) is one of the founders and most important exponents of ‘steampunk’. Steampunk is a science fiction genre that features steam trains and machines instead of futuristic high-tech. In his drawings he combines classical architecture with futuristic buildings, through which odd-looking transportation vehicles maneuver. His ‘Obscure Cities’ series, made in collaboration with writer Benoît Peeters, is one of the most important European comics from the last thirty years.
A couple of years ago he made the comic ‘Beauty’, for which he did both the drawings and the scenario. The book is a testament to Schuiten’s love for machines, specifically for the steam engine. More recently Schuiten also drew the scenography of ‘Trainworld’, a new museum in Schaarbeek. This fall, Schuiten will curate an exhibition with drawing automata.
One of the drawings on exhibit here references Leonardo Da Vinci’s designs from the 15th century: Utopian designs that nevertheless look realistic and executable. The similarities to Vladimir Tatlin’s “flying machines” are striking.