Saturday, October 17, 2009

Jean Cocteau

Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau (5 July 1889 – 11 October 1963) was a French poet, novelist, dramatist, designer, boxing manager, playwright, artist and filmmaker. Along with other Surrealists of his generation (Jean Anouilh and René Char for example) Cocteau grappled with the "algebra" of verbal codes old and new, mise en scène language and technologies of modernism to create a paradox: a classical avant-garde. His circle of associates, friends and lovers included Pablo Picasso, Jean Hugo, Jean Marais, Henri Bernstein, Édith Piaf, whom he cast in one of his one act plays entitled Le Bel Indifferent in 1940, and Raymond Radiguet.

His work was played out in the theatrical world of the Grands Theatres, the Boulevards and beyond during the Parisian epoque he both lived through and helped define and create. His versatile, unconventional approach and enormous output brought him international acclaim. He collaborated with a great many artists from his era. Well known are the illustrations he made to accompany the poems of his friends.

* 1924 : Dessins
* 1925 : Le Mystère de Jean l'oiseleur
* 1926 : Maison de santé
* 1929 : 25 dessins d'un dormeur
* 1935 : 60 designs for Les Enfants Terribles
* 1941 : Drawings in the margins of Chevaliers de la Table ronde
* 1948 : Drôle de ménage
* 1957 : La Chapelle Saint-Pierre, Villefranche-sur-Mer
* 1958 : La Salle des mariages, City Hall of Menton - La Chapelle Saint-Pierre (lithographies)
* 1959 : Gondol des morts
* 1960 : Chapelle Saint-Blaise-des-Simples, Milly-la-Forêt
* Années 1960 : Windows of the Église Saint-Maximin de Metz

His lifestyle was inspiring for all free spirits and artists alike and his drug-[ab]use a firm ground for discussion. If this is the first time you get acquainted with Jean Cocteau, you should really find out more about him. [See wikipedia for an extensive article] This guy was so versatile in his expressions, I could run a blog just about him. Film, Painting, Theatre, Poetry, you name it, this guy has done it.
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