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- DescriptionIt is said that asphyxiation brings on a state of hallucinatory intoxication...in which case the 71-year-old artist who lay in his sprawling Provencal villa died happy. In the early afteron of Monday October 4 1999, wracked with Parkinson's disease, and unable to paint after breaking his wrist, Bernard Buffet calmly placed a plastic bag over his head, taped it tight around his neck and patiently waited the few minutes it took for death to arrive. Bernard Buffet was the first artist of the television and the jet age. As the first of the so-called Fabulous Five (Francoise Sagan, Roger Vadim, Brigitte Bardot and Yves Saint Laurent) he was a leader of the cultural revolution that seemed to forge a new France from the shattered remains of a discredited and demoralized country. While still in his twenties he had a Rolls Royce, a chateau, an island, high society at his feet and a glittering future ahead. Yet his extraordinary fall from grace was engineered by the very establishment that created him. Once hailed as a genius he was later shunned as a joke. Today, almost 70 years after he first shot to fame as a 20 year old prodigy hailed as a successor to Picasso, critical opinion remains sharply divided on the reputation of a controversial painter. Rich in incident Buffet's remarkable story is played out against the backdrop of the beau monde of the 1950s and 1960s in locations as diverse as St Tropez, Tokyo, Paris, Dallas, St Petersburg and New York, before coming to its miserable conclusion alone in his studio. With the cooperation of the Buffet estate, this is the first in-depth biography of the artist to be published in English, and Foulkes has secured unique interviews and access to the Buffet legacy. Buffet's story is an allegory for the corrosive commercial investment value of art markets today. His paintings are currently rocketing in value as he is rediscovered.
- Author BiographyNicholas Foulkes is the author of around twenty books. He is best known for his critically acclaimed trilogy of nineteenth-century histories: Scandalous Society (a biography of Count d'Orsay); Dancing Into Battle, A Social History of the Battle of Waterloo; and Gentlemen and Blackguards: Gambling Mania and the Plot to Steal the Derby of 1844. He is a columnist for Country Life; a contributing editor to the FT's How To Spend It magazine, a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and luxury editor of British GQ. He is the founding editor of 'Vanity Fair on Art' and he has written on the arts for a wide range of periodicals. In 2009 he was appointed to the board of the Norman Mailer Center. He is a graduate of Hertford College, Oxford and lives in London with his wife and two sons.
- Author(s)Nicholas Foulkes
- Date of Publication14/01/2016
- SubjectIndividual Artists / Art Monographs
- Place of PublicationLondon
- Country of PublicationUnited Kingdom
- ImprintPreface Publishing
- Content Noteillustrations
- Weight817 g
- Width162 mm
- Height240 mm
- Spine43 mm
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