We would like to think that we are in control of our own life, making prudent decisions about all that is going on about us. Whether that be major life decisions that relate to work, our partners, the stormy states of our internal world, and of course all that which brings happiness and sorrow. Yes, we love the concept of control, the perception of it, the mere idea that we have a hand in determining our own fate. But this of course is not so true.
It wasn’t so much Yves that I was interested in above, it was the woman that caught my attention. I apologize now for those that may consider this image to be a bit racy, but my recommendation is to look not at the lower anatomy, but at her expression. Yves of course is being Yves, working on a series that in many ways put him in the pantheon of great artists of the 20th century. Yet what ever became of the model that was used, having her body painted in International Klein blue(patented by Yves himself!), then pressed firmly against the canvas to leave an imprint. After a morning of searching high and low, both in books and the modern information super highway, I found nothing in the way of names for the various models that were used.
Now sure, it may not matter, they are just models, Klein is the superstar here, right! But I beg to differ. Perhaps it could be said that a body imprint is meant to be anonymous, it being irrelevant that one woman’s body is the same as others, or that a certain physical build is used that would make any distinction minimal. Okay, I can see that, but I’m still protesting, and here is the reason why. The woman that was used, had a life, struggles, challenges, and all manner of experiences that led her to and from that moment before and after Yves smearing his paint on her and pressing an image. He captured something, but missed seeing her, or put another way, he in essence used her the same way that a child creates a pattern on a potato, dipping it in paint, pressing on paper, then discarding to the waste basket(Yes! I did just make that analogy in all seriousness).
Now, don’t get me wrong here, I am a huge fan of Yves work. That isn’t the question I am asking. Instead I am just posing the question, what ever happened to this woman? Was she paid her 100 francs and then went on with her life, or was there more there to the story, on that some obscure curator captured and noted as reference material to the paintings? Did she die young or live a life that was full and rich? Is she still alive at this very moment, yet forgotten by history?
There is something of note here, paying attention to those that play small parts in the creation of bigger works and events. I do ask one small favor from you, the reader, take a look one more time at the image above and below. What is her story, not Yves’s one (we already know his in books and film galore)?