giaccometti

I’m going to start a series about inspirations—First off will be the great little book “A Giacometti Portrait” by James Lord. I read it for the first time while I was in Architecture school and I practically inhaled it. This might sound strange but it’s highly entertaining to see one of the greatest artists of the 20th century struggle on a daily basis trying to fulfill his own high expectations. The book is a bit like a Felini movie without the allegories, nakedness and costumes — just the pure suffering of the genius.

From the back cover: James Lord sat for eighteen days, while his friend Alberto Giacometti did his portrait in oil. The artist painted, and the model recorded the sittings and took photographs of the work in it’s various stages. 

Here’s a little excerpt from around the middle (sic!) of the book:

“I’m very tired today,” he said. “I was up till five and then I didn’t sleep very well.”

Once having started to work, he soon said, “I’ve got to destroy everything again.”

“That was to be foreseen,” I said.

“Not to this extend. Look at me! Merde! I’m right back where I was in 1925. It’s absolutely impossible to reproduce on a canvas what I see.

“Of course,” I said. “Which simply brings us back again to the fact that one cannot hope to copy nature.”

“But that’s the only thing worth doing,” he said. “It’s the only thing I’m interested in.” 


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