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NEXT STORY

Picasso sculpture unveils problems in my marriage

RELATED STORIES

Art collecting
Carl Djerassi Scientist
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So that gets us to the last topic, Degas’ horse, and Degas’ horse is simply a short, a short catchword for my interest in art, and I’m not an artist, not in the visual artist sense, but I am definitely an artist now, because my definition of art, in so far as the artists colony creates a much broader- It involves of course, creative writing, and music, and choreography, and I’m a writer, so I feel I’m certainly an artist in that context. But I’ve been an art collector ever since I was able to afford it, and that started in Mexico, when I was the second time there, from 1955 on, when I collected Pre Columbian art, which I stopped, more or less, when it became illegal, in the 60s or 70s, in terms of exporting Pre Columbian figures to the United States. And by the 1960s I started to have a serious art collection, and what interested- because I was able to afford it at that time, and of course, still it was considerably cheaper than it would be now, and I- what I was really interested in, and again it reflects my own bigamous, polygamous views, is to collect artists who crossed two boundaries. Namely, sculptors who were also important painters, and important painters who were also sculptors, so for example, some of the great ones, you know, Picasso, who most people call a great painter, but if he had never painted a single thing and just done his sculpture, he would have been a major sculptor.

Austrian-American Carl Djerassi (1923-2015) was best known for his work on the synthesis of the steroid cortisone and then of a progesterone derivative that was the basis of the first contraceptive pill. He wrote a number of books, plays and poems, in the process inventing a new genre, 'science-in-fiction', illustrated by the novel 'Cantor's Dilemma' which explores ethics in science.

Listeners: Tamara Tracz

Tamara Tracz is a writer and filmmaker based in London.

Tags: Mexico, Edgar Degas, Pablo Picasso

Duration: 1 minute, 41 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2005

Date story went live: 24 January 2008