The renowned lithographer and chromist Marcel Salinas collaborated with Picasso on the "Imaginary Portraits" series from 1969 to 1972, recreating the lithographs on hand-drawn lithographic plates after Picasso's death in 1973.
Born in 1913 in Alexandria, Egypt, Salinas abandoned law to become a struggling young painter. Lithographs saved his career and his life. In 1955, he took a job at a Parisian print shop, and soon became a master painter while his renown as a printer and lithographer grew. He worked with major publishers and artists, such as Rene Magritte and Max Ernst, but his landmark collaboration was with Picasso.
Picasso, in addition to his genius as a painter, created a new standard for excellence in lithography, and part of the credit is due to his partnership with Salinas.
Picasso heard of Salinas' work when he was looking for new interpretations, rather than just copies, of his "Imaginary Portraits" painting series. He asked Salinas for two prototypes, and was as impressed with Salinas' work as Salinas was with "Guernica."
Between 1969 and
1972, Picasso and Salinas produced new versions of the "Imaginary
Portraits" series, 29 works in all. Although Picasso was a solo
genius, the collaboration between Picasso and Salinas was one of
the most successful partnerships in Picasso's lifetime.
In late 2006 the
entire collection of 29 Imaginary Portraits is scheduled to be
exhibited at the Arkansas Arts Center, to be loaned by the Jacksonville
Museum of Modern Art.