He was not very handsome, he was poor, he was thin.
His name was Lucien Clergue.
I was beautiful, courted and a stewardess.
There was in him a strength, an intensity; a gaze that made me think of Van Gogh. He was a rough diamond that only needed to be recognized.
Picasso was one if not the first to recognize it. In 1959, Clergue had an exhibition at MOMA in NY. He could not afford to attend. Picasso offered him the airplane fare adding “and you take her with you” looking at me with a smile.
In the late 60s, photography was still a desert.
In Arles, Lucien, Tournier, a writer and fan of Photography and Rouquette, the new director of the Reattu museum where he did not know what to exhibit, cooked up the first Rencontres.
They were 13 participating and I still remember the mountains of sandwiches I made!