Mennessons's key themes: Circus

The magical arena where clowns and tightrope artistes work is a paradoxical universe which fascinated Mennessons: behind the laugh of the clown, he felt the fragility and dismay, behind the apparent grace of the tightrope walker, the cruel dance with danger which could be fatal. For him, this place of spectacle was a condensed version of the human experience.

In Paris he frequented the Circus Medrano (before its demolition) and the Winter Circus, in Munich the Circus Krone and also saw the Peking Circus in Paris in 1972.

When sketching the Fratellini brothers, usually Albert, they were at the peak of their art. For Mennessons this was a symbol of courageous dignity which was overcome by laughter, the hollow weakness of man.

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