The world is opening back up! I don’t want to brag, but last week I had dinner IN A RESTAURANT! Mexican, obviously. I ate my free chips and salsa and enjoyed my Diet Coke refills until my food came and I had to take it home because I was already stuffed. It was glorious. In addition to enjoying food in a restaurant, I also watched my kids skate for the first time since March, kissed my nephew’s fat baby cheeks blatantly, and without a mask, and we’ve been seeing friends! Friends friends friends! And not over FaceTime, but IRL!
It is so great to see people again. My beloved L.M. Montgomery said, “True friends are always together in spirit.” And she’s not wrong…. but it’s REALLY great to be together in person too! All this friendship inspired me to look at some famous artists who were BFFs. Or at least BFFAW (Best Friends For A While).
1. Van Gogh and Paul Gaugin. Everyone knows about these two. They were dear friends, until they weren’t. They had a row (more modernly called “a fight”) and Vincent expressed his fury by cutting his own ear off. I know I’ve talked my friends ears off about this or that, but all cutlery has remained in the knife block.
|“The Chair” Van Gogh made this as a sort of portrait of Gaugin. Pre-ear situation.
2. Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. How much would you give for these two to have a reality show together? They pushed the boundaries of mentorship to full-blown friendship. They collaborated on over 200 pieces of art. Jean-Michel using his graffiti skills and Warhol contributing his trademark brand name silk screen magic.
|“GE Short Line & Reading”
3. Picasso and Matisse. Surprise! Maybe you thought they hated each other since sometimes it seems like they did. But everything I read says they actually held each other in very high regard and used their competitive spirits to challenge each other. They both had some pretty “out there” (some might say “ugly”) paintings, but together they modernized art. They may have had a lot of back and forth, but at the end of their lives, both had complimentary things to say about the other. Matisse relayed, “Only one person has the right to criticize me. It’s Picasso.” and Picasso quipped, “All things considered, there is only Matisse.”
Here are some honorable friend mentions:
~ Camille Pissaro and Paul Cezanne (actually, Cezanne seemed to have friendly connections with everyone in the world.)
~ Jackson Pollack and Willem de Kooning (but then Jackson couldn’t stop pronouncing his name “William” and they parted ways. I’m assuming.)
~ Degas and Manet (I’m team Degas. I can’t shake the feeling Manet is just a Monet wannabe.)
Enjoy your friends this week, friends!