I see dead Artists: a new SDMB continuing thread

Sometimes, I think Cafe Society is too much society and not enough cafe, what ever that may mean.

So, I shall let you in on a secret: I see dead artists. Once every two weeks, I will start a new thread featuring an artist of my choice. (I see them you don’t, so there!)

I will interview the artist throughout the time. Perhaps you have a question for the artist. I will ask them for you. they may or may not answer. You all know how fickle artists can be!

Just for clarity, when the artist types on the keyboard, they will type in a different colour than me.

Let’s begin, shall we?

The first Artist on my list is Amedeo Modigliani.
I ran into him at the Kimball Art Museum at his show. He was standing behind the Brancusi, amused at the turn out.
Babs: Mr. Modigliani, to begin with, I have to tell you… you’re quiteattractive!
Modigliani: heh! Thanks, but please, call me Modi. All my froends do. I must say though, I wouldn’t really have been your type. I would have broken your heart. I lead a very wild life of sex, drugs and art! It ultimatly lead to my early death. I was only 36 (sigh). it was pretty funny though…
I was always being hassled by the cops in Paris. They were always taking me in for my drunk escapades. I thouht it was poetic that they were in attendence at my funeral…standing at attention! I had to burst out laughing when I heard Picasso say,“Do you see? Now he is avenged.” I just know he heard me.

B: really? That is pretty fascinating stuff!

M: (laughs)

B: let me link to a few of your pictures:


Let’s wait a while, over this cup of coffee, and see if the dopers have any questions for you.

M: Sounds like fun, Babs!I can’t wait to hear the questions.

Modi (if I may call you that), I have to admit that I was not previously familiar with your work. I know, I know. Well, I’m not much when it comes to knowledge about art.

So tell me, 2 out of those 3 works that Babs linked to showed subjects with “no eyes”. Any significance to that? What were you intending to say?

Here’s a link to one of M’s sculptures.

  1. So, M, you died before you could get out of your “oval-faced woman” stage? Would it have hurt you to do a nice landscape or bowl of fruit for a change? And what’s with the brooch?

  2. What other famous artist do we all know who did the tall, distorted, elongated thing?

  3. I’m interested in finding a stray undiscovered work by you. Where would you suggest I look?

(NB: I generally like M’s work–kinda otherworldly and inward-looking–the eyes thing and also the outlining. It’s easy to sound like I’m carping when I’m putting stuff in question form.)

BTW, in my link you may want to click on the link to M’s Caryatids–I liked those a lot.

I used to look like a Modigliani . . . Lately I’ve been looking more like a Botero . . .

Scout: Please do call me Modi. I was telling Picasso the other day that if I was currently alive, I would have gone by the name Mo Dig. We goof like that. The biggest joke among my friends is that Modi sounds likemaudit which is cursed in french. that is what I was: cursed!

As for the eyes.
Often in my work, you will see that one eye is rendered differently from the other.
I was quoted as saying:
“With one eye you are looking at the outside world,
while with the other you are looking within yourself.”

The way I rendered the eyes gave my subjects a mask-like appearance.

Humble Servant:

My works were indeed often people. However, I did execute 4 landscapes in the final years of my life.

Primarily, I was a sculptor. My best friend was Brancusi. It was he that stimulated my great interest in sculpture!
I really resented the fact that I was poor. I found it to be a great hinderance to my art. When I needed sculpture materials, I would ‘borrow’ them from building sites. Ulitimately, the dust affected my tuberculosis. This is why I switched to painting.

From the sounds of it, you are referring to Giacometti
here are some links to little known works:
a landscape
Here’s one of Jean Cocteau , my one time neighbor whom I disliked very very much.

In fact, you can see many images of my work here.

The show at the Kimball is my first major show in over 40 years! It will be traveling to Los Angeles in May.

I am not sure which brooch you are referring to, however.

You are the keeper of scandolous trivia on these boards, I hear. may I add this one to your collection?

Jeanne Hebuterne was my lover and gave birth to my daughter in 1918. She was eight months pregnant when I died. She committed suicide the next day.

  1. How do you pronounce your name? I’ve heard it pronounced MAW dig lee aw nee, mo dig lee AW nee, and just about every other derivation possible.

  2. Ever heard the song by Book of Love called Lost In Your Eyes (Modigliani)? If so, do you like it? Do you think it accurately reflects the mood of your work?

  3. Were you appreciated in your lifetime? Did you die rich?

  4. Who are your favorite modern (still living) artists?

  5. Pancakes of french toast – which is better?

You’re right that Giacometti seems to have this thing going too, but I was thinking of el Greco–some amateur physiologists have tried to explain his results in terms of some kind of physical illness or eyesight problem.

Oooh, that is a lovely one.

Geesh, I give up on making the direct links, but click on the links to the two Anna and two Beatrice portraits at this site. (The same one linked to in the last post by the OP.)

Age Quod Agis-
Modi was Italian/Jewish by birth. I would assume then that the correct pronounciation is mo dig lee AH nee.

All my friends in Montparnesse were from various countries. I heard so many renditions of my name, I don’t know myself!

No I have not heard that song! I will have to look for it the next time I go to the Virgin Megastore. It’s funny, who would have though they had one here? Starbucks, too.

I was appreciated during my life by fellow artists. It was said that when I died, an era died with me. Rumour has it that when he died Picasso was mumbling my name. I need to ask him about that…
Was I rich? no! I was always struggling with poverty.
In 1910, I received favorable reviews during the “Salon des Indépendent.”_The Galleria Paul Guillaume in Paris held a collective exhibition of the works of young painters: Matisse, Picasso, and Modigliani right before my death. Sadly, fame came too late for me.

Favorite current artists? I would say that this new video art is pretty interesting.
I find the work of Bill Viola to be fascinating. I went to the Met in NY the other day and was taken aback by his work there… I think it was called the The Quintet of Rememberance.

Oh, and it’s crepes that I like. Is that a choice? What is this french toast thing?

and Humble, as far as I can remember, sometimes a brooch is just a brooch. What can I say? The hashish did a lot to the memory.