Andre Villers - Pablo Picasso - Tournage Du Film “l
Silver gelatin print, 1955, Original issue on Baryte paper, signed by the photographer in ink (recto) and stamped verso
Printing: Circa 1989
Size: 405 x 302 mms
Ref: Picasso Vu par Villers photographies, page 25
Note: This is part of a series of famous photographs taken by Andre Villers, a friend and confidant of Picasso. Andre Villers met Picasso in the street in Vallauris in 1953 when Villers stopped to take his photograph. From this chance meeting a great friendship grew between the two artists which was to result in numerous photographs of Picasso, his friends and his studio. Villers has held solo exhibitions all over Europ e and many of his prints are held in the permanent collections at the Picasso Museums in Paris, Barcelona, Vallauris and Antibes. He has worked closely with the writer Jacques Prevert and the photographer David Douglas Duncan. This was taken during the filming of “Le Mystere Picasso”. It was a production directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot released on the 18th May 1956. It was designed to show the artist paintings for the camera allowing the viewer to see his creative processes at work. In the film Picasso paints onto a tran sparent canvas which is filmed from the other side. The film shows up the interaction between artist and director. The latter almost bullies Picasso into completing work quickly to fit into a precise time frame. Picasso’s good humour and humility make him into an engaging and sympathetic character The film began in a darkened room with a white light directed at an empty translucent canvas. The artist then confronts the work dramatically as the camera records the progress from the other side of the canvas. In the course of the film some 20 different canvases are made. Our photograph was taken at the Cannes Film Festival when Picasso, wonderfully smart and well dressed, was receiving his accolades alongside Clouzot. This film won the Special Jury Prize and Picasso destroyed all the canvases so that it could only exist on film.