Jean Genet: “I Shall Dare What Must Be Dared”

“I want to fulfill myself in one of the rarest of destinies. I have only a dim notion of what it
will be. I want it to have not a graceful curve slightly bent toward evening but a hitherto unseen beauty
lovely because of the danger which works away at it overwhelms it undermines it. Oh let me be only utter
beauty I shall go quickly or slowly but I shall dare what must be dared. I shall destroy appearances the
casings will burn away and one evening I shall appear there in the palm of your hand quiet and pure like a
glass statuette. You will see me. Round about me there will be nothing left.” 

-Jean Genet, The Thief’s Journal

 

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol, “Querelle”, Silkscreen Series, 1982

Andy Warhol was commissioned by the German film director Rainer Fassbinder to design the poster for his filmed adaptation of Jean Genet’s novel, “Querelle”, which follows a young sailor’s sexual escapades in a French port. Warhol took a polaroid of two young men as a starting point for his silk-screen print, but idealized the young boy’s features and marked with a bright blue the other man’s tongue. The image’s sensuous character distills Genet’s erotic tale.