By Alex Blanco (ARTIBOOKS team)
“According to Watson, to have this kind of intimate connection with Gaugin's paintings was some sort of meditation after which, you leave the museum in a very specific spiritual state of mind as you've just had a contact with something extremely precious and sacred.”
It was one of those sunny April days when I first met Albert Watson. He walked into Kahmann Gallery in Amsterdam, smiling and saluting everyone. He was calm and serene, a real zen master, I mean, a real zen master of photography. Of course, not every day a well-known photographer like Watson is standing right in front of you, so although, very inquisitive, I felt shy to approach him. Luckily, the atmosphere eased up during the dinner over a glass of white and I decided to start a conversation.
I was curious to find out about Albert Watson’s artistic influences. And of course, this being his favourite topic, he got very excited to tell me about one of his favourite artists, Paul Gauguin (1848-1903).
"He is simply the best", Albert told me. "I was in Russia now for the opening of Pirelli Calendar exhibition (that took place at Multimedia Art Museum Moscow on Feb 15, 2019) and during my stay, I was invited to the Tretyakov Gallery, where I could enjoy a room full of Gauguin, all by myself". According to Watson, to have this kind of intimate connection with Gaugin's paintings was some sort of meditation after which, you leave the museum in a very specific spiritual state of mind as you've just had a contact with something extremely precious and sacred.
"I am excited to see 'At Eternity's Gate' (2019), the film about Van Gogh's life with Willem Dafoe playing Vincent", I told Watson about the recently released Julian Schnabel's movie, pouring another glass. "I have seen it already'' he answered, "And it's not my favourite. I much prefer another film about the same artist - 'Lust for Life' (1956) directed by Vincente Minnelli. You should definitely watch this classic". I took my phone to write down the name and realised that I have just received a film suggestion from the man who photographed poster for 'Kill Bill' (2003) and made Uma Thurman and Quentin Tarantino pose for his lens.