Emile Josome Hodinos
Joseph Ernest Ménétrier was born in Paris to baker parents. His father died when the boy was eight; the latter was then placed in a boarding school. In 1869 he entered into an apprenticeship with the engraver of the third republic medals. In addition, for four years he took drawing and modelling courses at an art school. Abruptly, his life turned upside down and he was admitted to the Ville-Evrard asylum, where he would stay until he died.
He changed his identity then and adopted the pseudonym Emile Josome Hodinos. He passed his time at the hospital drawing innumerable plans for medals in graphite and India ink on which he made meticulous comments in handwritten texts signed with his assumed name. As support material he used sheets of the paper used in biscuit-making. Strips of paper served as compasses or dividers to calculate the dimensions of his figurines, essentially female, whose anatomy he exaggerated. He would then encircle them with an outline, obtaining the effect of a medal. He also wrote two books : a politic dictionary and The history of European States between 1453 and 1789.
Nowadays Josome Hodinos is considered as a classic of Art Brut, as he has been discovered by Jean Dubuffet, and his work is currently find in the greatest collections as Collection de l’Art Brut in Lausanne.