Sep 152016
 



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Aussie Cyril

The original portrait was by Aussie Cyril. Bleagh. I’ve had to crop it.

My dearest Much-More-Than-Muse Suki –
Yesterday’s shoot was wonderful. Boy, that was a long time of concentration… Wiped me out. A very intense five hours! We worked hard, thought hard, shared lots of ideas, achieved great things. I loved it. Lots of interesting poses, angles, etc… Perhaps you’ll find me a sentimental old fool for sending this one along first, but there is something very special about this photo; the completely relaxed directness… For me, it is close to some of Rembrandt’s, suggesting a mysterious moment; a strange sectioning of time. Strange also because I arrived at this via an intriguing colour version and then a very different black and white, and then experimenting with more contrast…
It will grow on you.
Cyril

I hate it.
    But it’s great I managed to spin out the session for five hours. Cyril pays me an hourly rate.
    I have no money left apart from what is in Tamara’s envelope.

Dear Cyril,
The breast has to go. There is simply no reason to have a naked breast on a study of an ugly-but-interesting face. The naked breast makes this picture tacky, tawdry and embarrassing. My version makes my right eye the focus, by cropping to just above my collar-bone. See attached. As you know, I rarely like photos of my face, whereas an artwork depicting me is a different matter: I have more distance to those; I don’t care so much about how “I” look, because drawings or paintings say probably more about the artist than they do about me.
S

Suki.
Is your cropped version an April Fool’s joke? It is a crying shame to crop it as you have done. I cannot see anything tacky or tawdry. My intention is always to depict the model’s personality, at the same time indicating something about the model-photographer relationship. This seems to me an incredibly tender but very honest portrait. I think it beautiful. If I were a real artist I might hang a 5-foot version of it in my living room.
Your
Cyril

Cyril
As said, there is no reason for this picture to be a nude in order to communicate the model’s personality. In my opinion the picture is about the face – and also, compositionally, the lovely arm and hand positions. It is simply tawdry for this older, serious-looking woman to be naked. In this picture I am neither (a) beautiful, nor (b) interesting for being hideously grotesque. The breast is extraneous, hence embarrassing. My crop turns it into a straightforward portrait. I don’t want to be 100% negative. I appreciate that you paid so much attention to getting this image to black and white, which is self-evidently far more effective than the colour version. Suki

I am tired of incessant emailing with Cyril.
    Why nothing from Bel? Could my theory be right? A chest x-ray that showed up something terrible?
    She’s been gone seven days. Without Bel, what is my raison d’etre, here in Shanghai?

I am an April fool.

Bel, pls let me know how things are going. Hard time for you. Take care Sxx


 

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  4 Responses to “Page 42”

  1. Suki – listen to Cyril. There are worse things than being loved – not being loved comes to mind…?

  2. Photo with or without breasts.

    I agree with Cyril. But must add the face is not ugly/interesting. It is beautiful/interesting.

  3. Beautiful portraits. Clearly displays a natural love.
    I think your portraits depict a very strong femininity.

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