Paris Post War: Art and Existentialism 1945-55

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Signs of an existentialist

The Male:

Dishevelled hair, falling in curls over the forehead. (See the famous portrait of Arthur Rimbaud, patron of all existentialists).

Shirt open to the navel, winter or summer.

Socks of a lively colour, with multicoloured horizontal stripes.

The existentialist, not having a pillow, goes everywhere with the book by Sullivan, I am going to spit on your graves.

The Female:

Straight hair falling to the breast.

In her trouser pocket, some tame white mice.

The use of make-up is strictly forbidden.

From Boris Vian: manuel de saint-germain-des-pres, edited by Noel Arnaud, Chene.

(Research: Kate Oldfield)

Paris Post War: Art and Existentialism 1945-55 at the Tate Gallery until 5 September.