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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Cheval Grec and the Martini


I got lucky last year. I picked up this amazing hand-pulled lithograph by Francois Gilot at a fundraising auction for our local Arts Central.

It was donated by my dear friend Patricia Clark, who's a friend of Gilot's, and who taught with her and has shown her work along side Gilot's over the years.

Gilot, 87, one of the world's premier contemporary artists, was a life partner and muse of Picasso's and is the mother of two of his children, Paloma and Claude Picasso. Part of her fascinating life story is chronicled in her book


I have not met Francois, but I like having Cheval Grec live at our house now, watching over our cocktail parties. Our proud blue horse connects us to the recent past and the world of ink-stained hands, ancient ateliers, cafes and Salons filled with poets and artists smoking unfiltered cigarettes and debating politics. They were the innovators, thinking up new ideas and changing the world.

I often wonder what stories Cheval Grec would tell about his creator and her contemporaries, and the cocktail parties they must have shared. Did Matisse drink a dirty martini, or a good Cognac, or did he prefer a lovely French Bordeaux?

Our online world of social networking with Twitter and Facebook seems less glamorous than the real life meetings of Gilot, Picasso, Matisse and later on her husband Jonas Salk and their fascinating group of friends, who changed the world through art and scientific discovery. We are using our current new mediums to do our thing. Plus, we don't have to smoke, which is nice.

I also wonder what Mr. Cheval Grec will see my children and their children accomplish in the years to come, as he watches over them, a horse on the wall who listens and learns.

As I mentioned before, Bob Dylan once said, "Art stops time"
I say, "Art watches time." And he happens to be a big blue horse on my wall.

2 comments:

picasso etchings said...

Art watches time. I love that. The horse on your wall reminds me of this another picasso piece. Although, yours is much more kind than these picasso etchings.

Thanks for the post!

Miss Julie said...

Thanks for writing, picasso etchings! Your site is very informative. I wish more people understood the value of collecting prints.

For the record, I like my Gilot horse better than Picasso's. However, mine is not worth $21,000!