This sentence by Allan Kaprow, inventor of the happening, perfectly captures the physical and psychological attitude of Segal's "living paintings", which have been compared to mummies or to the bodies of Pompeii inhabitants petrified in the Vesuvius ashes. Forever fixated in the most trivial postures, Segal's sculptures relate to us in spite of the distance conveyed by their plaster media. Their humanity undoubtedly comes from the fact that they were molded on real models.
We have known Ileana Sonnabend, the priestess of contemporary art, quite well: first in Paris, rue Mazarine, and in New York after 1968. Her husband Michael posed for George Segal. Together they made the only work created in France on the occasion of an exhibition held in Paris in 1963. We kept Gottlieb's wishing well in our living room rue du Temple. It was a sculpture by Segal of course, but also Michael, forever with us.
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