The French Riviera attracted many artists, including Pablo Picasso, who lived and worked there for dozens of years. Magical places such as Juan-les-Pins, Mougins, Vallauris, Antibes and Cannes are connected with his name. It was here that the paths of photographer Edward Quinn and the master crossed. Quinn began to take photos of famous movie stars and celebrities at the French Riviera. He worked for Paris Match and numerous other magazines and agencies. Meeting Picasso in 1951 was a crucial event which influenced his photography. He won the artist’s trust and their close cooperation continued until 1972. Picasso allowed him to take photos at various activities: Picasso while painting, Picasso the sculptor, Picasso in Madoura pottery workshop. Quinn’s camera was even privy to the artist’s private life. He took photos while Picasso was resting, meeting friends, and even with his close family, first with Françoise Gilot and their children, later with Jacqueline Roque his second wife and her daughter with their pets. In the course of this fruitful and close cooperation Quinn created almost ten thousand photographs which showed the artist from many points of view in a way that only a few photographers could manage. Many globally renowned photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Doisneau, Robert Capa, and others took photos of Picasso, but they focused on portraits; they did not have the opportunity like Quinn to capture Picasso the artist and the person. His photographs were direct recordings and were never staged. He knew how to set his camera in the best way to achieve a transformation of the moment into a reflection of the artist’s unique personality.
The exhibition at Danubiana, comprised of a selection of 125 photographs from Edward Quinn’s twenty years of friendship with Picasso, is on loan from Edward Quinn Archive and organized by Musée Picasso, Antibes, France, where it was called Picasso sans cliché.
Edward Quinn was born in 1920 in Dublin, Ireland and died in 1997 in Altendorf, Switzerland. In his youth, he worked at various jobs; he even played guitar and sang for a living. In 1949, he began to work with photography and found success relatively quickly. This was due to his stay on the French Riviera where he took photos of movie stars and celebrities. After meeting Picasso, he focused mainly on the arts. Quinn also photographed other artists and writers such as Somerset Maugham, Max Ernst, Francis Bacon, Salvador Dalí, Georg Baselitz and others.
The extent of Quinn’s work has been documented in numerous publications: Edward Quinn, Photographer, Picasso Photos 1951-1972, The Private Picasso, James Joyce´s Dublin, Riviera Cocktail and others.