May 15, 2009

Picasso x Edward Quinn Photography::

With a complex and fascinating personality, Picasso had, however, bouts of prolongued bad humour, be it on account of his family problems or dissatisfaction with his work. During those times, he was unbearable - nothing was ever good enough! - which could explain his short-lasting relashionships, especially with women. However, he also showed a generous and tolerant side towards other artists and creative people, in general; he respected their work and tried not to intrude upon them.

So, when someone wanted to photograph him, he would obediently follow every instruction, as if he was amazed at the frenzy of tripods, cameras and projectors that surrounded him. Numerous pictures of the Spanish painter were taken using this method, by photographers such as Robert Capa, Cartier-Bresson, Yosuf Karsh, David Seymour, Robert Doisneau and Man-Ray, and, although they're very good, they show more of the photographer's personality than Picasso's. This, however, was not Edward Quinn's approach.

Edward Quinn started out as a musician. During WWII he became a RAF pilot and, once the war was over, he continued to fly civil airplanes. During the 1950s, he lived in Côte d'Azur, which, at the time, was already the place of leisure of countless international celebrities. So, he decided that it might be a good idea to become a photographer... In 1951, during one of his assignments, he met Picasso. In the first photographs he took of the painter, he let him work freely, with no artificial poses.

Picasso felt at ease with the photographer and focused on his work, forgetting he was being photographed. And thus, for over 20 years, Quinn entered the painter's private sphere, capturing the man behind the artist - his house, women, children, friends, pets. He was one of the few privileged enough to do so and he was able to gather the most amazing set of pictures of the painter known to date. Picasso, on the other hand, never asked him to see his portraits; he knew that, inspite of the journalist's interest in him as an "object", there was a code of etics taken into account. That's why they became friends.

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