I have just read this book. And I am amazed by it. I love art. I love those painters in the book and I am soo happy that I have read this piece of art.
Bluebeard, the Autobiography of Rabo Karabekian (1916–1988) is a 1987 novel by best-selling author Kurt Vonnegut. It is told as a first person narrative and describes the late years of fictional Abstract Expressionist painter Rabo Karabekian, who first appeared, rather briefly, in Breakfast of Champions. Circumstances of the novel bear rough resemblance to the fairy tale of Bluebeard popularized by Charles Perrault. Karabekian mentions this relationship once in the novel.
Paintings in this book
In the novel several of Karabekian’s paintings are described in detail. The first is a photo-realistic painting of Dan Gregory’s studio. The second is an abstract painting of a lost Arctic explorer and a charging polar bear. It consists of a white back ground with two strips of tape, one white, one orange. The third painting is of six deer and a hunter, titled “Hungarian Rhapsody Number Six” which later fell apart in storage at the Guggenheim Museum. The scene is represented by a greenish-orange background with six brown strips of tape for the deer on one side, and one strip of red tape on the opposite side for the hunter. His most famous, which once hung in the lobby of GEFFCo headquarters on Park Avenue, is titled “Windsor Blue Number Seventeen.” The entire painting consisting of eight 8×8 panels hung side by side displays nothing but the paint by Sateen Dura-Luxe in the shade of the title of the work. The painting however literally fell apart when the Sateen Dura-Luxe began to shred itself from the canvas upon which it was painted becoming Rabo Karabekian’s biggest embarrassment as an abstract expressionist. These very panels upon which Windsor Blue used to cover fully became the canvases Karabekian would prime back to pure white and use for his last work locked within his potato barn.
The last painting is the secret in the potato barn. The painting is an enormous photo-realistic picture of Karabekian’s experience of World War II where he and five-thousand, two hundred and nineteen other prisoners of war, gypsies, and concentration camp victims were dumped in a valley when the German forces realized that the war was lost. The painting, which becomes enormously successful as a tourist attraction, is meant to be the only painting that Karabekian created which contained “soul”.
What do you think about this novel? Did you read it? It is really worth the reading. I am shocked. Woooow. Loved it