Daniel Fasquelle

  • Deputy of Pas-​de-​Calais and Mayor of Le Tou­quet Paris-​Plage, France

Le Tou­quet is one hun­dred years old!

It is with true plea­sure that I write this con­tri­bu­tion for Extrav­a­ganza, this book on Alain Godon pub­lished for an exhi­bi­tion which, I know, will yet again be quite remark­able. Alain is an artist whom I value enor­mously. In par­tic­u­lar, I can recall one of our meet­ings — it was in April 2008 at one of Alain’s exhi­bi­tions in the Faubourg St Hon­oré in Paris. Hav­ing passed the time of day with him on sev­eral pre­vi­ous occa­sions, I knew of his pas­sion for Le Tou­quet Paris-​Plage after falling in love with one of its res­i­dents in 1987. And of course, hav­ing only recently been elected, I chat­ted to him about our desire to return cul­ture to a promi­nent posi­tion in the resort which had once been known as “Par­adise of the Arts”. Alain’s enthu­si­asm was indisputable.

Thus it was that our part­ner­ship, or rather this col­lab­o­ra­tion, first saw light of day in July 2009 with the “Grand Prix for the Artists of Tomor­row” — or “The Alain Godon Tro­phy” — which in its first year wel­comed over ten thou­sand vis­i­tors! This fes­ti­val gives young tal­ent an undreamed of oppor­tu­nity to become known and recog­nised: a venue that is quite unique and is now one of the high­lights of our year, and whose grow­ing suc­cess proves that our con­fi­dence in this project and in Alain was well-​founded.
It is also thanks to Alain that we have sub­se­quently been able to insti­gate other projects with the objec­tive of mak­ing art acces­si­ble to all; organ­is­ing major exhi­bi­tions at the museum, the Chemin des Arts (which over the sum­mer of 2011 dis­played some impres­sive work by young artists — an exhi­bi­tion which was quite orig­i­nal and resound­ingly suc­cess­ful!) and, not to men­tion, our elec­tric shut­tle buses, which we had thought to be a lit­tle too low key but now no longer fade into the back­ground, adorned as they are in Alain Godon’s daz­zling colours…
It is a real stroke of luck for our resort and for those who are Tou­quet­tois at heart that we can count an artist such as Alain among our num­ber. Even if after 2005 he chose to set­tle in Lon­don for pro­fes­sional rea­sons, I know he still needs to come back and visit Le Tou­quet Paris-​Plage very reg­u­larly and recharge his bat­ter­ies. He is always wel­comed with gen­uine delight, not only as an artist but also as a friend who loves shar­ing his pas­sion for art.
Ido, inci­den­tally, recall that in Decem­ber 2008 two hun­dred Tou­quet­tois trav­elled to New York for the open­ing night of his exhi­bi­tion: what a won­der­ful tes­ti­mony to the affec­tion between the town of Le Tou­quet Paris-​Plage and the artist, an affec­tion that has not dimmed and that con­tin­ues to flour­ish.
In any event, the book together with the exhi­bi­tion is a mag­nif­i­cent gift to us from Godon, both for our cen­te­nary and for the town.