While we mostly know Pablo Picasso as the father of surrealist painting, it turns out that the art legend also loved to dabble in other mediums. In 1949, LIFE Magazine’s Gjon Mili, a technical wiz and lighting visionary, was sent to visit Picasso in the South of France where they combined artistic efforts to create an amazing set of photographs, rarely seen even today. What provoked these visually arresting pics? According to LIFE:
Picasso gave Mili 15 minutes to try one experiment. He was so fascinated by the result that he posed for five sessions, projecting 30 drawings of centaurs, bulls, Greek profiles and his signature. Mili took his photographs in a darkened room, using two cameras, one for side view, another for front view. By leaving the shutters open, he caught the light streaks swirling through space.
Later to be know as Picasso’s “light drawings,” the images were made with a small electric light in a darkened room, the images vanishing as soon as they were created. Though not part of the recognized body (or canon) of Picaso’s work, many were put on display in early 1950 in a show at the Museum of Modern Art.
One little intesting tidbit about the gallery above: Many of the imagines never even ran in the magazine, with the color version of the prints only now available.