Somehow, this is not the first profile that centers around an artwork depicting people playing chess. Previously, we wrote about little-known Czech artist Emma Lowenstamm and her most famous, allegedly apocryphal, work: "A Chess Game: Lenin with Hitler".
Well, no one knows for sure if Lenin and Hitler actually played chess, but we can guarantee that Eve Babitz and Marcel Duchamp did. They are the subject of a famous photograph by Julan Wasser, which has been called by the Smithsonian "among the key documentary images of American modern art". And we're not arguing with the Smithsonian!
Duchamp you are probably aware of: one of the most famous modern artists of all time, he is credited with starting Dadaism. Babitz is a tad more obscure, but she was once Hollywood's "It" girl, with relationships ranging from Jim Morrison to Steve Martin to Harrison Ford. She designed album covers and wrote numerous articles and semi-fictionalized stories that earned her a lot of praise in the 1970s and 80s. The photo came before that, in 1963. She was 20; Duchamp was 76.
And, yeah, they played chess.