Thoma Vuille is a Franco-Swiss painter, born in Boudry in the canton of Neuchâtel in 1972. He is the creator of the M. CHAT graphic series, a grinning cat soaring over the roofs of Paris.
Thoma Vuille started painting in the streets with acrylic at the age of 15, in memory of his grandfather, who was a house painter. Vuille studied at the Institute of visual Arts of Orléans from 1995 to 2001, but quickly discovered his preference for street art. The idea of M. CHAT came to him in 1997 after a little girl drew a cat during a workshop in a school in Orléans. Thoma Vuille adopted this idea and created his very own M. CHAT, who started by wandering the streets of Orléans before moving to Paris.
Today, the artist and this animal have become an indivisible whole. Who is M. CHAT? The artist or the character? Or is it both? Whether he is alone or not, with or without wings, M. CHAT can no longer be reduced to a simple logo.
With his simple and clear lines, M. CHAT has become an urban symbol bringing joy and optimism to the city. His fame has allowed for variations, changing color and posture but keeping his strong identity. His need for wings is explained by the inaccessible places in which he is represented.
This cat reminds us of another character, Lewis Carroll's "grinning cat", the Cheshire Cat, whose smile never fades. A smile full of infectious enthusiasm, just like Thoma Vuille's art.