The Ludwig Museum in Cologne, Germany, is hosting a new exhibition featuring photographs taken of Pablo Picasso. « Me, Myself and I » portrays the artist in his various roles as a painter, sculptor, husband, lover, father or political figure. Picasso clearly understood the value of promotion and deliberately put his life on public display : his face is almost as familiar as his work. The exhibit focuses on portraits taken by the likes of renowned artists such as Brassaï, René Burri, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Hiro and that reflect the photographers’ different perspectives and styles.
Jacques Henri Lartigue also took part in Picasso’s « photo-mania ». Lartigue friends, Jeanne and Albert Creff, introduced him to Picasso in 1955 in Antibes and took him to Picasso’s villa in Cannes where Jeanne Creff worked as a doctor. Lartigue must have been inspired since he took more than one hundred black and white and color photos of Picasso in one day. Picasso went along readily as usual and even let Lartigue take pictures of him during his acupuncture session with Jeanne Creff. The pictures of Picasso from that day take up more than half of Lartigue’s 1955 photo album. There are other pictures of Picasso holding a paintbrush, posing with Jeanne Creff, and with Jean Cocteau at a bullfight in Vallauris. There are even several pictures of Lartigue himself, having entrusted his camera to his wife Florette. The photographs in the album are in no particular order… posed, formal ones are displayed side by side with candid snapshots… the main focus nevertheless, remains the intensely photogenic master.
The exhibit is currently shown in the Malaga Picasso Museum in Spain until June 10th 2012. The catalog is available from Hatje Cantz.