Evolution of The Art Couple
Art as Cuisine / How to eat and still make Art
Kofi Fosu Forson
Evolution for art couples existing in somewhat of a symbiotic relationship or something relevant to art coupling for me began with Pablo Picasso and Dora Maar.
In politics through out history resident political CEO as in president was always backed by a strong independent female representation. Most apparent was JFK and Jacqueline Onassis.
This was also evident in art and literature. Pre eminence of Picasso attracted woman like Dora Maar. She an artist in her own right brought about idea of politics and gender.
At time when literati exuded power most of these dominant personalities and art types gathered in Parisian cafes which in turn glamorized their potential and intellect.
Gradually American artists musicians and writers sought solace among these celebrities. Apparent Godfather of art coupling was Henry Miller along with Anais Nin. Gossip and sexual politics surrounded them. These two themes more often than not build charisma in relationship of most art couples.
50's pop culture paved way for power couples as Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe. Others subjected themselves to allure of rock and roll. But this decade was one which popularized what was coming together of art Svengali and muse.
Best example was Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia Okeefe. Whereas Dora was featured in Picasso's Cubist paintings, Stielglitz brought about Georgia's nakedness in his portraits of her. Picasso and Dora had political power at the time. Stieglitz was more pronounced in world of art. Georgia gained notoriety as Alfred's muse. Something similar to Camille Claudel.
Once again JFK and Jacqueline Onassis were in history best example of power couple. As political couple they certainly had more of a forum for their gossip, glamour and politics.
60's rock and roll culture paved way for "the groupie." Many rock and roll stars were quick to romance many of these groupies.
Elvis Presley and Priscilla and Johnny Cash and June Carter were couples who reached an essence of popularity and stardom beyond what most could imagine.
The term sex, drugs and rock and roll stemmed from orgiastic and free love movement. It brought about idea of musicians and their groupies of choice and musicians in partnership with other musicians in love, sex and romance.
John and Yoko defiantly stand alone.
Andy Warhol's Pop Art seventies fueled by disco and drugs brought about The Super Model. These larger than life models were sought after by legendary musicians like Mick Jagger and Bryan Ferry. Most of these models were shuffled between one musician and next.
Warhol permeated pop culture with this belief all through the 80's. As influence of Wall Street on art, money and sex brought about want need to date models, couples like Basquiat and Suzanne Mallouk emanated from Neo Expressionism as artists be it high or low graffiti inspired, early rap or New Wave, film or dance all found each other.
Barely Legal and Heroin Chic as well as grunge ruled the 1990's.
In our modern day artists think first about survival and shelter. As most of known artists have left downtown area of New York, those making a living here think first about rent.
So called sexual movement still fuses coupling and relationships between artists. Art couples tend to lack allure and pageantry of those before.
What we are now are human beings first.
We exist as artists. We survive not as philosophers or intellectuals.
Art is food. But we need to eat to make art.