I’d imagine it’s crushingly disappointing for a fantastic artist (photographer, painter, etc.) to be better known as priapic dwarf Pablo Picasso’s mistress than for your own work. I feel guilty even bringing it up but thought it best to address the 800 lb. gorilla in her story first. Just get it out of the way.
The fortunate side for the rest of us is that Dora Maar continues to create and left is this incredible legacy of surrealist (and other) of painting and photography.
And so now that I’ve fallen into the same trap as others writing about her… What’s to be said about SURREALISM? I’m no art historian. For me, what can be said is that many surrealist works, paintings, sculpture, writing etc., tug at feelings that my vocabulary doesn’t include words for. These works are reminders of what might hide in blind spots.
We are all in such a rush to have an explanation and a definition for everything. We are so dependent on our rational minds beyond anything that modern living has any use for, like survival instincts, that parts of us do indeed exist in blind spots. What those parts may be or look like may vary from individual to individual but the unconscious mind is a strange place like that. Most people choose not to safari there, outside of frivolous dream interpretation and the handful of brave souls willing to go deep into psychoanalysis. It’s funny, now thinking about this, I remember how excited my old shrink got, The Sphinx, when I mentioned that I had a very disturbing dream. It was like a light turned on in her and I swear she bounced a little bit in her chair.
That’s the thing though. Even I quit psychoanalysis and to be fair it wasn’t all because of the mismatched life philosophies with The Sphinx.
So… Dora Maar.