Viva Picasso.


I love used book stores, and I have spent many a pleasant hour wandering through the stacks in search of a great find. One of my greatest finds is Viva Picasso: A Centennial Celebration, by the photographer David Douglas Duncan. It is a book of photographs taken by Duncan during the late 1950s and 1960s and it is surprising in its intimacy, showing Picasso at home with friends and family. My favorite photos are those that show Picasso at work in his studio surrounded by a lifetime of paintings, drawings, sculpture, and what can best be described as wreckage. It is interesting for me to see an artist’s working environment. I especially like to see what is important to an artist. Some like clean ordered spaces, others prefer chaos; some have only recent work around them, and others like Picasso need their history around them like some sort of personal talisman. In many ways the artist’s personality and temperament is laid bare by their choices in working environments.