Last week in Manhattan, Sofitel Luxury Hotelshosted a special exhibit of thirty photographs curated by Pablo Picasso’s grandson, Olivier Widmaier Picasso. The exhibit, aptly named "Revealed,” presents a compelling, behind-the-scenes look at the world’s greatest modern artists at work in their studios as they "reveal" themselves to the photographer.
Olivier curated the exhibit by hand, selecting the 30 photographs from the prestigious archives of Paris Match, the famous French weekly magazine. Having never been displayed to the public, these photographs, according to Olivier who spoke passionately at the event (and celebrated his birthday that night with a cake, candles, and serenade by all of us in the crowd!), are meant to "create moments of intimacy" of the artists in their studios. As a photographer myself, my hope is to always tell a story with an image and I felt truly inspired by what I saw on display. Each of the photos tells its own rare story and gives a small glimpse into what life must have been like as these artists created some of their most famous works.
The beautiful, telling photos include a black-and-white image of Pablo Picasso eyeing a Dalmatian that was hoping to climb upon his lap, Salvador Dalí painting an enormous rhinoceros, and Jeff Koons styling a BMW for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Other images depict Fernando Botero, Joan Miró, Jean Cocteau, Francis Bacon, and other iconic artists.
My personal favorite was a photo of Marc Chagall painting the canvases that were eventually installed inside the Paris Opera and a photo of Picasso himself eating fish off a bone while his dog peeked through hoping he would share.
The "Revealed" photography exhibit opened on June 4th in New York and will be on display for two months inside the Sofitel lobby before going on a five-city tour at other Sofitel locations across the U.S. and into Canada.
Monica Shulman is a photographer and the author of Ciao, Chessa! – a photography and lifestyle blog. She lives in New York City with her husband, toddler daughter and infant son.