Andre Villiers: My Friend Picasso

A profile of artist and photographer Andre Villiers

When André was 23, he was walking around the town of Vallauris, taking pictures. He took a photograph of an older man. The next day, André developed the photo and took it back to show it to  the man. The man shook his head and said, “I like it. You’re talented, kid. Now come with me, I’ll show you what I do.” And the man took André to his workshop where there were paintings, sculptures and ceramic objects all around. Young André was mesmerized. This man was Pablo Picasso!

Through Picasso, André was introduced to painters such as Chagall, Dali, Miro, Fernand Léger, Hartung or Magnelli, filmmakers Buñuel and Fellini, photographer Brassaï, poet and writer Jacques Prévert, architect Le Corbusier, pianist Richter and many many others… He has photographed them all and has never boasted about it. Throughout his life, he kept a low profile, even though his photographs are known worldwide. At that time, André also met and became friends with fellow photographers Henri Cartier-Bresson, Brassaï, Jacques-Henri Lartigue, Robert Doisneau or David Douglas Duncan.

Together with Picasso and Prévert, he did a collaborative work made of Picasso’s and André’s photocollages accompanied by poetic texts by Prévert. In 1962, the album, called DIURNES,was published by Heinz Berggruen. With Michel Butor writing the text, they alsoworked on a series called ‘Bottles’ in the1980’s:

André has also carried out extensive experimentalwork: photogrammes, emulsions, photographic developer spraying, photocollages and cut-outs.

André Villers is a fully-fledged artist.  It’s time for people to hear his story and recognize his work.

1 x 64′

Director: Marketa Tomanova

Country of Production: Czech Republic