Gaston Gatinet or Gastineau (Monsieur G.), Le Sanctuaire des lasers/The Sanctuary of Lasers
Lumigny-Nesles-Ormeaux, Île-de-France, 77540, fr
About the Artist/Site
Beginning in the 1960s, the man known as Monsieur G designed and built a large home in Nesles-la-Gilberde, a community southeast of Paris. Not much is known about his early life, although some reports indicate that he may have been a police officer. It is said that he preferred not to provide his full name because he hadn’t secured legal permission to build the house.
Although he lived alone, Monsieur G’s three-story building had circular windows, towers, and terraces, and was also said to have been designed to have a swimming pool and an indoor theatre where he could project images and sounds from the past, so as to block out those of the present. The building itself was never completely finished (nor, during his lifetime, was electricity ever connected to the site), and it is said that Monsieur G. lived in the basement while he perpetually worked on the house’s construction. He had hoped to be able to see the Eiffel Tower from the upper levels, but, as it is some 30 miles away, it is unlikely that he was able to do so.
This building was to serve not only as his home, but as a sanctuary where he would be protected from the lasers that he believed were aimed directly at him by the Russian government.
Monsieur G decorated both the interior and exterior of his home with a variety of paintings of abstract/organic forms as well as representational subjects. These latter included an homage/memorial to the singer and actor Maurice Chevalier, a Scottish bagpiper, roosters, children, and a self-portrait. Many of the images were slightly bas-relief painted concrete, set off from the plane of the building’s façade.
After Monsieur G’s death, the building and decorations began to deteriorate. After the building was sold, the artistic components were all demolished, and the façade of the house today gives no hint of the cheerful and elaborate adornments that once graced its exterior. Although the house remains, the art environment is no longer extant.
~Jo Farb Hernández
Map & Site Information
Lumigny-Nesles-Ormeaux, Île-de-France, 77540 fr
Latitude/Longitude: 48.714112 / 2.960153