Thursday, March 17, 2011

More on Douglas Kirkland

Douglas Kirkland Shooting Marilyn Monroe

This entry is a follow up to my article last Feb.13 on Douglas Kirkland. Although I have written about Douglas even before then (Sept. 12, 2009), I find it hard to condense everything I would like to convey about this talented Artist in a few short commentaries.  So I am adding a short interview and a brief video that might give you a rounder portrait of Douglas as a photographer.

The American Society of Cinematographers interviewed Douglas Kirkland last October 25 after announcing their decision to award him the ASC Presidents Award this year.  In this interview he shares his earlier days -- his first picture, his first camera, his first photo job, appreticeship etc. A great read for any Kirkland fan.

Here is a great clip on Douglas and his work. It was taken two years ago at the Calumet Photo (NY) Exhibit: Freeze Frame - 5 Decades of Photographs from the Entertainment Industry.

--Video from courtesy of calumetphotonews.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Picasso And Matisse With Their Muse

The rivalry and friendship between Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse has facinated me for years.  These titans of 20th century art have influenced and inspired each other to push the bounderies of painting to its limits... and brought their art to its inevitable conclusion -- Abstraction.  "You've got to be able to picture side by side everything Matisse and I were doing at the time," Picasso said toward the end of his life. "No one has looked at Matisse's paintings more carefully than I; and no one has looked at mine more carefully than him."

Picasso's "Nude, Greenleaves and Bust"

These two artists have been in the headlines lately, side by side, as usual.

Picasso's painting, "Nude, Greenleaves and Bust," became the most expensive art work ever sold at auction last May, when it fetched $106.5 million at Christie's in New York.  It is currently on display at the new Pablo Picasso room on the third floor of the Tate Modern (gallery) in London.

It was announced about a month ago that Al Pacino has signed on to play the role of Henri Matisse, in the upcoming movie titled "Masterpiece" by Canadian director Deepa Mehta, who was nominated for an Oscar in 2006.  The bio-pic will be centered on Matisse's relationship with his nurse and muse, Monique Bourgeois.

In 1941, a 21 year-old nursing student named Monique Bourgeois responded to an ad placed by Henri Matisse for a “young and pretty night nurse.”  Matisse, then in his early 70's, was recovering from an intestinal cancer operation. He made a few drawing and paintings of her, and even taught her perspective after discovering that she was an amateur artist.  But war separated them for a few years.

They were reunited after the war.  But by that time, Monique already took her vows as a Dominican Nun.  Their friendship would culminate in what Matisse considers his greatest life achievement, the Chapel of the Rosary in Vense.

Matisse inside the Chapel of the Rosary