What does Baryshnikov wake up to every morning? Sketches of Ballets Russes legends Sergei Diaghalev and Vaslav Nijinsky drawn by French novelist Jean Cocteau in 1917. A colored pencil illustration of bugs and birds signed “To Misha with Love, Merce Cunningham.” A doodle by Trisha Brown of her own feet.
In his post-ballet days, Mikhail Baryshnikov has become something of a Renaissance man, and one of the many avenues he’s explored is collecting art. He recently loaned 106 pieces to the ABA Gallery in New York City for an exhibition dedicated to artwork he’s bought or been given over the years. “This is the strangest experience, revealing something which was utterly private all my life, at least for the last 35-something years,” he told Wall Street Journal reporter Phoebe Hoban. “It’s like allowing a journalist in your bedroom because, like somebody said, ‘If only pictures could talk.’ Every piece, there is a story behind it.”
You can see a handful of the works at interviewmagazine.com, which also ran a Q&A where Baryshnikov dishes about how working with George Balanchine differed from dancing for any other choreographer.