The artist and writer Maira Kalman always makes me smile, and think, at the same time. She follows her interests where they lead, even if they lead somewhere odd.
Maira’s most recently published project is her illustrated edition of Gertrude Stein’s book, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, first published in 1933. If you haven’t read the book since you were an Omaha North High School senior dreaming of Paris—or maybe that’s just me—Maira’s illustrated version is a revelation, full of humor and joy.
This past January, as part of the book’s launch, Maira dressed up as Alice B. Toklas and walked around Manhattan with a videographer. As you do. The video is up top, and the New York Times article about it is here.
In these days of empty streets, the line in the article that made me smile the most is: “The amount of people who didn’t notice. OK, there’s this woman with a lot of makeup and this gigantic nose”—the makeup artist gave her two, over her own. “OK, there’s another person in New York. Nobody’s normal. And that’s why we live here, right?”
That’s why we live here.
For more Maira Kalman, here’s another video, and there are a couple of links below. I hope they give you a smile.