This bust is like a rugged, rocky mountain, with the narrow head at the peak. The viewer is unthinkingly pulled into the dark, deep holes of the eyes to the extent that if we address at the sculpture,frontally we become fixed, unable to move. The model for the sculpture is Giacometti’s younger brother, Diego. The artist concentrated on producing busts of Diego during the early 1950s; repeatedly sculpting this subject with particular focus on the uneven surface of his thin face and its scar-like texture. The time consuming process of scraping down the built-up clay bears out the relationship of deep trust between the artist and his devoted sibling. Giacometti grappled with how to give clarity to the uncertain after-image of a person’s form that we are left with once we have closed our eyes.
This drawing of a man’s head has been executed in pen, moved rapidly across a page printed with text. Many such drawings made by Giacometti remain, made quickly in pen during conversation in cafes and using nearby newspaper or napkins. This work uses a single page from a book, the table of contents. The figure depicted is the artist’s younger brother Diego, a furniture maker who was dedicated to helping his sibling, serving as Giacometti’s model numerous times. The rapid movements of the pen suggest that the artist is trying not to let the image slip away. The round eyes give a particularly strong impression, staring directly ahead. Giacometti attempted to grasp the core of a living person’s existence through their gaze.