Cover image for Intimate creativity : partners in love and art
Intimate creativity : partners in love and art
Sarnoff, Irving, 1922-
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Publication Information:
Madison, Wis. : University of Wisconsin Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xii, 255 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Introduction: Exploring intimate creativity -- Relating and creating -- Transcending the culture of individualism -- Embracing a collective identity -- The unending conversation -- From inspiration to implementation -- The harmony of equals -- Making art/making love -- Couple and community -- Epilogue: The composite picture.
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Item Holds
BF411 .S27 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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     Integrating the psychology of love and creativity, this pioneering book explores both how a couple's involvement as lovers influences their creative collaboration and how working together affects their relationship. Representing a variety of genres--painting, sculpture, photography, and installation art--the celebrated couples profiled here include, among others, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio, and Kristin Jones and Andrew Ginzel.
     Intrigued by this process of "intimate creativity," psychologists Irving and Suzanne Sarnoff (themselves partners in love and work) decided to conduct in-depth interviews with partners in visual art because they defy the supremely individualistic tradition of their field. Whatever their age or sexual orientation, these artist-couples combine their talents to form a collective identity as a professional team. Passionately intense about their shared commitment, they communicate endlessly to resolve conflicts and reach consensus. Providing mutual validation and support, they increase their productivity and the quality of their work; they minimize their fear and frustration and enhance their pleasure in being together.
     The authors also draw on historical and contemporary literature about similar couples, ranging from Jean Arp and Sophie Taeuber to Gilbert and George to Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. Stimulating and engaging, this book highlights the features of a unique collaborative process, considers the connection between creativity and sexuality, and suggests possibilities for any couple to expand their intimacy.

Author Notes

Irving and Suzanne Sarnoff have collaborated as authors and teachers. He is professor emeritus of psychology and she is a former lecturer in psychology, both at New York University. Co-authors of two books, one on human sexuality and the other on the psychology of marriage, they have made several national media appearances to discuss their research on how people create and develop loving relationships.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

In a conversational, straightforward manner, the Sarnoffs describe the experiences of ten partnerships in which the parties are both sexually intimate and collaborators in the creation of art. The authors examine an array of relationship topics, such as communication, couple identity, equality, sexual pleasure, and cultural contexts, and they weave a narrative that captures the dynamic synergy of love and work in each couple's relationship. Although based on research interviews, this book does not pretend to be a scientific endeavor. The authors blend psychological analyses grounded in empirical research with their own personal experiences to educate readers on the creative process in collaborative work. Some scholars who specialize in close relationships may find the book unsophisticated. However, any couple that shares, or plans to share, an intimate and professional partnership will find comfort and support in the common experiences described by the diverse couples in this book. ^BSumming Up: Optional. General readers and professionals. T. Edwards University of San Diego