Unique Anecdote and Picture of Willem de Kooning by Enfant Terrible Paul Blanca
08 december 2016 
9 min. read

Unique Anecdote and Picture of Willem de Kooning by Enfant Terrible Paul Blanca

This unique picture of the famous painter Willem de Kooning (1904-1997) has an interesting background story that is told in the book ‘De Kunstkannibaal‘ by Peter Klashorst (1957). I have added an English translation of this excerpt below:

Willem de Kooning - Paul Blanca

Fig.1. ‘Portrait Willem de Kooning in his studio‘ (1988) by Paul Blanca

“The well-known Dutch photographer Paul Blanca (1958-2021) and me (ed. Peter Klashorst) were together in New York. Blanca visited Willem de Kooning to create a portrait of him. De Kooning, at that time already the world’s highest paid artist, got on board as a stowaway in 1926 and ended up in the U.S. where he began his career as a house painter. And now, at the height of his fame, almost no one could enter his life anymore.

Safety Cordon

But off course Blanca managed to by-pass the safety cordon. De Kooning was already suffering fom dementia. He was no longer aware of what he had painted 5 minutes before, but he gave Blanca the following advice: “Just make paintings and you can make a lot of money like me.”

Animation Movies

In his studio hung a big screen that was constantly playing animation movies, through Cartoon Channel. “Just paint these animation movies and then you have always something to paint. It’s real easy. You don’t have to invent things. It is all there! Anybody can do it! You will be rich and famous like me!” Blanca came back home with this story about his meeting with Willem de Kooning.


This rare (very small edition) picture of the world-famous painter Willem de Kooning is still available in our gallery. It’s a sepia gelatin silver print. It’s titled, signed and dated on the verso (see Fig.3.). Very good state and offered in a passe-partout (see Fig.2.). Size picture: 7″ x 9 4/5″ inches. Size passe-partout: 13 1/3″ x 15 3/4″ inches. The price is Euro 385,-.

Paul Blanca - Signature - Willem de Kooning

Fig.2. Picture in passe-partout

Paul Blanca - Willem de Kooning

Fig.3. Description, date and signature Paul Blanca (verso picture)

In 2009 I wrote an insightful article on Paul Blanca who Robert Mapplethorpe considered to be a worthy opponent!

The following video features Blanca’s Sangre de Toro (1991) -series. His visual ode to bullfighting:

Source: ‘De kunstkannibaal‘ by Peter Klashorst

Another great source on Blanca (mainly Dutch) is the Rob Scholte Museum.

More photographs by the artist:

paul blanca

Toreador and bull‘ (1991) from the series ‘Sangre de toro

paul blanca

Silk screen in Bull’s blood 'Un Natural ' from the series  ‘Sangre de toro‘ (1991)

paul blanca

Self-portrait ‘Fully dressed‘ (1986) by Paul Blanca

paul blanca

Self-portrait Bull” (1983)

paul blanca: self-portrait 1981

Self-portrait‘ (1981)

paul blanca

Self-portrait ‘Black warrior‘ (1984) by Paul Blanca

paul blanca

Self-portrait ‘Mickey Mouse‘ (1985) by Paul Blanca

paul blanca

Saint Sebastian‘ (1989)

paul blanca

Self-portrait ‘Bull‘ (1984) by Paul Blanca

paul blanca

Snowwhite‘ (2001) by Paul Blanca

Fighting cocks‘ (2012)

Click HERE and check out Paul Blanca’s bloody bull-fighting work….!!!

Source: ‘De Journalist‘ (21 May 1990, Interview with Paul Blanca)

About the author
Marijn is the founder of shungagallery.com. With more than 20 years of experience within the sensual and erotic art of shunga he is an authority in the genre. During this time he served many customers with complementing their art collection.
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