La Pompe is one of Gaston Goor’s best and most amusing gay visual narratives, a series of pastel drawings which works on several levels. Rue de la Pompe is a metro station on Paris’s Line 9, opened in 1922; the street after which it is named, one of the longest in the city, recalls the pump which once served water to the castle of Muette.
The French word ‘pompe’ in this series works on several levels – as well as the metro station connection which provides the stage for the voyeurism, ‘pompe’ also suggests a pump-action, a press-up, and a celebration, as in pomp. As they explore each other, the boys also interact with the station’s advertising panels, before becoming a work of art (Louvre) to justify their nudity for a passing audience.
La Pompe was almost certainly produced as a private commission for one of Roger Peyrefitte’s Parisian circle.