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  • Michele Maria by Rene Ricard

Michele Maria by Rene Ricard

Petersburg Press

Colour Lithograph


Edition Size: 28

Sheet Size: 40 x 26.5 inches


Condition: Pristine

Details — Click to read

Paper 40 in. x 26.5 in. / 101.6 cm x 67.31 cm. Lithograph with silkscreen and relief on cream Rives BFK Heavyweight paper. Edition 28: this impression 19/28. Signed by the artist lower center. Numbered lower left in pencil; dated 1989 lower right in pencil.

An expanse of yellow forms the background of Ricard’s tribute to the opera singer Maria Callas. Her portrait is painted in profile with bold, black marks. The artist Michele Zalopany was Rene’s close friend, and he produced this portrait honoring Michele, and the opera singer Maria Callas, jointly. An expanse of bright yellow forms the background of this bold portrait in profile, painted with bold, black marks. Within her portrait, Ricard wrote the names of some of her most well-known operas and arias, such as Norma and Casta Diva. As in many of Ricard’s works, his freely-written cursive evokes emotion, and the inky black marks increase the drama of this portrait in profile. At the bottom of the composition, “Michele Maria” is written in red.

This confidence (and Ricard’s bedroom-eyed allure) attracted the attention of Andy Warhol, and the young Rene (formerly Albert Napoleon Ricard) became his protege. He would appear in three Warhol films, even playing the Factory founder himself in “Andy Warhol Story”. Warhol would later call the famously acid-tongued Ricard “The George Sanders of the Lower East Side, the Rex Reed of the art world.”


The Artist

Rene Ricard

In the 1980s, he wrote a series of influential essays for Artforum magazine. Having achieved stature in the art world by successfully launching the career of painter Julian Schnabel, Ricard helped bring Jean-Michel Basquiat to fame. In December 1981 he published the first major article on Basquiat, entitled “The Radiant Child,” in Artforum. Ricard also contributed art essays to numerous gallery and exhibition catalogs. Ricard was immortalized by Basquiat in the drawing entitled Rene Ricard / Axe, representing the tension that existed between the two. Andy Warhol called him “the George Sanders of the Lower East Side, the Rex Reed of the art world.”

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