My old Sandy, this burly man with the
soul of a nightingale who blows on mobiles
this nightingale who makes his nest
in his mobiles
these mobiles scraping the bark
of the orange-coloured
where my great friend Sandy lives
Poem written by Miró for their 1961 exhibition “Miró-Calder” at Perls Gallery in New York
Alexander Calder and Joan Miró first met in 1928 when the American artist visited Miró’s studio in Paris. Since then they maintained a deep and mutually inspiring friendship lasting almost 50 years during which they exchanged ideas, letters, paintings and gifts and collaborated on numerous exhibitions. There is a remarkable similarity in their creative sensibility. They were both heavily influenced by the surrealist movement, taking their inspiration from the unconscious, and applied heavy symbolism in their abstractions. They also shared a thematic interest in the circus and astrology.
Fashion meets circus act in this 1950s Dior shoot by Richard Avedon. Aside from the elegant pose and fantastic elephants, the images have become iconic for their representation of contrasts: youth and age, strength and frailty, grace and awkwardness, freedom and captivity. These images were considered revolutionary when they were first published in 1955, they exceeded the realm of fashion photography and were elevated into fine art.