Gaël Dufrène

France, 1971

Gaël Dufrène was born in Queue-en-Brie, a village near Paris. Fascinated by trains and locomotives from the age of six, he took to drawing these by the hundreds. Later he would perfect his skills at technical drawing and become interested in math. He was surprisingly apt at the latter and, in 1976, obtained a baccalaureate in Science and Industrial Technology. In 2003 Gaël Dufrène was diagnosed as autistic with Asperger’s syndrome, enabling him thenceforth to devote himself exclusively to his creative projects. In addition to drawing up an encyclopedia of several thousand pages on railway history, as well as a “self-care diary,” he has continued to put out his drawings of locomotives and motors – all precisely delineated and abundantly captioned. The intention behind his works is “far from being there to be beautiful.” Rather, he means them to spread pieces of information and to describe the technical advances that so enthuse him, and whose workings he understands with amazing clairvoyance. He produces his works using ballpoint pens and coloured pencils.