Wednesday, 2 January 2013
Extract from Jean Stein - Edie: An American Biography:
Sharon Premoli: Edie swept into Cambridge in the fall of 1963. She decided to study art with her cousin Lily Saarinen. Edie was very elegant. She’s get into that great gray Mercedes and she looked just like an ad. She was sculpting then.The first time I met her she was coming out of Adams House at Harvard wearing a rubber apron covered with clay.
One thing I thought was amazing about her was that although she was incredibly beautiful, her hands didn’t seem to belong to her body. She chain-smoked, her fingers had nicotine all over them; she had clay and stuff under her fingernails. Those hands didn’t belong to this incredibly beautiful girl.
Lily Saarinen: She was the most talented young person I’ve taught art to. She’d come in late and very tired. Sometimes she’d stay an hour; sometimes she’d stay five. She’d have her friends come in, and pretty soon more came. I had the feeling that she needed an audience. She was very insecure about men, though all the men loved her. She was always chic and adorable. Pretty soon my life was Edie because I couldn’t do anything else. She worked frantically. She wanted to do a horse. She said she’d ridden them all her life and knew every inch of them. Young girls do love horses. It’s wonderful to have a great, powerful creature that you can control ... perhaps the way she would have liked to control her father. So she worked on this one horse. It looked like a T’ang horse. It took her all winter; it had the most beautiful buttocks. Though that was a world she knew a great deal about - the life of the great ranch - she never seemed particularly interested in doing cowboys.
Ed Hennessy: I saw that horse a hundred million billion times! It seemed to me that it never changed form. It was always just perfect. Edie’d say, “Look! Look what I’ve done to its leg!”
“Oh, yes, Edie, yes. Oh, much better!”
But I could never see what she’d done. That horse went through the whole year. It just wouldn’t end, that horse. I wonder if that crazy father of hers ever saw it.