Monday, April 3, 2017

Princesse Elena: Yves Klein's Favorite Model

How many paintings did you take part in?

Quite a lot - we were doing steady ones and ones where he was pulling me and it looked like I was diving and there were the ones on round paper, then there were the fire and water prints.
He was a hard worker.

Did you feel like you were being exploited?

No, not at all. When an actress does what a film director asks her to do, she's not exploited, she's just co-operating.
He was like a director in a way and we were doing exactly what he wanted us to do, but we also wanted to do it.

Did he ask men to do the same?

I think he did it with himself and perhaps a couple of men.
There are some. I think there is a huge one where there is a man flying around in space in a print.
But perhaps it was a hint to the fact there should be more women artists.
There are not so many in history so far.

A lot of people would say he was the artist and you were the object.

No, we were subjects.
The model traditionally was always an object for the painting, object for the public.
But there, especially when we did the presentation in public, we were all subjects.
Also, for the public, we were acting.
We were not just still objects.
I think things are a bit more complex.

How do you feel about the works now?

Oh, I like it very much.
I will disappear sooner or later, unfortunately quite sooner because I'm nearly 82.
But there will be some prints of mine around.
There could be some DNA in the blue paint!

Elena Palumbo-Mosca interviewed by the BBC on October 21, 2016.

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