PORTRAIT & COMPAGNIE
NON-THEATRICAL, TV, VOD, DVD, INTERNET
Who is Balthus? What does he look like? Balthus, his real name Balthazar Klossowski de Rola, remains an enigma in contemporary art not only on account of his constant hostility to all pictorial movements of his era, but also on account of his personality.
His solitary and secret character kept him out of the media, and there are almost no images or interviews with the man. Indeed, this marginal artist, who had a reputation for being difficult among critics and the public, always refused to talk about his work.
For the first time, at the age of 88, Balthus agreed to let Damian Pettigrew follow him week after week in his life and work in Switzerland, Italy, France and England. Trying to make himself as discreet as possible - but how could he do otherwise? - the director tried to pierce the Balthus enigma for the duration of four seasons. He even managed to access his studio.
In interviews (in particular with his three children), his family and friends further stress the artist's charismatic character and they all seem to want to take a back seat in the face of such a personality.
Photos of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Irving Penn and many previous unexploited documents reveal the richness and complexity of the work of one of the last great painters of the XX century. When he passed away in his chalet in La Rossinière in Vaud, Switzerland on February 18, 2001, Balthus left behind him a totally singular work numbering over three hundred and fifty paintings known to date, a thousand drawings and about fifty sketch books.
Released on DVD by ARTE VIDEO