The Fifth Element: Mondoshawan/Sheridan suit concept by Jacques Rey references Max Ernst's Celebes (1921)?


leading from 


a) Sheridan (Mondoshawan) by Jacques Rey

b) References Max Ernst's Celebes (1921)

c) I'm looking at how the strange cactus tree like thing on the left has become the Totem Cannon.



d) I'm seeing that the collar on the Celebes trunk might have set off the idea of a patterns on the Sheridan's arm.



e) The hole where the trunk/ vacuum hose comes out from becomes the hole where the Sheridan's creature's head comes out.




f)  The strange devices at the top become replaced by the ventilation pods.



g)   The nostrils of the trunk become perhaps small lights the Mondoshawan's shoulder and so the longer horn becomes a ventilation pod as well


  1. Is this a theory? We chatted about a lot of his work years ago and he said he got at least part of the idea from Baloo the bear in Jungle Book.

    1. Well, it's my open question, I think it's very interesting Jacques Rey might have got at least part of the idea from Baloo the Bear in Jungle Book, but I needed to be told it, but you can look at the character and wonder what idea he got from it, although the might be something evident in the shape of the belly, but this migh be also about how something fills out the page as a composition I suppose, and Baloo could be a significant thing to be brought into it. Celebes is in the back of the minds of many people with a broad knowledge of art, or at least in Surrealism. I noticed that this Mondoshawn seemed to connect with the Henu Barque from the Papyrus of Ani version of the Egyptian book of the dead, but I don't know why that should be unless someone showed Jacques Rey the image. Although the Henu Barque appeared to permeate art in general for a few thousand years and show up clearly in some interesting things such as the Space Jockey from Alien. In this case, it looks as if this Mondoshawan with it's henu barque-ness had been merged with Obelix from the Asterix stories, and that's much more easy to point out how that can be said. I've never had the opportunity to talk with Jacques Rey, and I could very well be the last person he would have time to talk to. But I accept that a drawing can pick up on a lot of other bits of art without the artist necessarily being conscious of it at that moment and there might be a way to map that out. Celebes is something that inspired many people in different curious ways and it an enigma in itself, and useful to build up images with. In the end probably every intricate illustration might have ideas coming from over a dozen different directions.

    2. Okay, I've put back the photo of the final Mondoshawan as seen in the film, since it seemed to have got misplaced by Googlephotos, so thanks for that.

    3. Well, I adore how there seems to be an upside down phantasm of the final Mondoshawan in one of Sylvain Despretz' skull ships for Tim Burton's unmade "Superman Lives". One can point it out but it wasn't something that he cared to think about, It's all very weird!

    4. Okay, now the main page about the Mondoshawan has been updated with a statement about Baloo the Bear from The Junglebook being something that helped inspire the design