Friday, May 18, 2012

Hello darling, I am feeling much much better today psychically, just yesterday's wrenching development -- well, I'm over it, like a 24-hour bug. I mean, not entirely over it, but I have been taking all kinds of measures to heal and take care of myself quick. Went for a vigorous walk with weights in the morning. Did a workout - with weights and bands - to Charlie Rose. Françoise Gilot was on -- she was one of Picasso's mistresses, perhaps the only one he didn't utterly destroy -- she emerged so unscathed that she went on to be an artistic painter in her own right (though, I don't know, from an image I saw from between my legs as I did various squats & thrusts - her paintings, in their collage-like, tropical-hued, dark juxtapositions, reminded me of Matisse, and Gauguin). Could the art-historian John Richardson be more appallingly sexist and prejudiced in some of his pronouncements? Okay, he and C.R. both were fawning nauseatingly over the sharp-witted, shrewd, and indomitable Francoise (whose looks reminded, in her incredibly well-preserved and lively nineties, with perfect maquillage and becomingly dark-red-dyed hair -- of Wallis Simpson, had she lived so long (which evidently she did, very very long, though not, for many years, in the public eye. I read the most macabre book a year or two ago, about the Svengalian attorney who presided over the Duchess's last days --).

Oh right, so Richardson – trying offhandedly to pry answers to pressing biographical questions he had of her - which she instantly deftly sidestepped - innocent enough questions such as -- so did Picasso indeed have a volume of El Greco's paintings? Ms. Gilot was unable to commit to any such factually deposing question – and could not tell a lie -- and so she sidestepped it, since she didn't have a judge to order her to respond (certainly not in the form of C.R. in this particular interview, which was at least in part (even more so than ever) about flattering its participants, as if it had been a small table and the most amazing rendezvous at the beautiful restaurant in the West Sixties, with its fabled murals and Central European (or is it French?) cuisine, Café des Artistes...)

Oh right -- I'm so affronted & pained by it that I keep avoiding where I'm trying to go -- Richardson really so maligned Dora Maar that I stopped dead in my underwear-clad tracks in front of the small TV and said aloud to the screen -- wow, we're not too racist are we? Because for whatever reason (I imagine that obsequious deference to Françoise Gilot wasn't the origin of his scathing characterization) he described Dora Maar as having taken up with all kinds of Surrealist "monsters," absorbed their “depraved” ways, when Picasso first encountered her she was busy banging a knife rapid-fire between her fingers onto a café table, that she was -- oh how did Richardson put it?-- well, essentially (in his view) crazy, plus half-Yugoslavian (as if that explained it!), and after her liaison with Picasso, after which he dumped her -- became a crazy religious fanatic. Oh, and plus – not a single mention, in all of that, of her photography and art…

The toadying subtext, in Françoise Gilot's formidable presence?

(Formidable indeed. I'm blown away myself, and I'm sure C.R. was dying to ask her - but forbore - drawing on his (non-Yugoslav) fine breeding -- so, how did you meet Jonas Salk?)

… that none of the other women in Picasso's life -- not his first wife, Olga the Russian ballerina; not Marie-Thérèse, the not terribly bright ingénue; not Dora Maar, impassioned soul -- were nearly as worthy…

Gilot is shrewd, always has been.

But I'm with the crazy Yugoslavian. Though I am nothing like Marina Abramović.

yours, "Dora Maar"

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