Gjon Mili, born in 1904 in Albany, arrived in United States in 1923. Seven years later, through his work with Harold Eugene Edgerton of MIT, he made several photographic experiences of capturing sequences of actions using photoflash to immobilize the scene. He was one of earliest on using an electronic flash and a stroboscope light to create images which went beyond the common scientific uses.
Until his death, in 1984, he was a LIFE magazine photographer, where he had several opportunities to photograph several celebrities. Among them, Pablo Picasso. Mili visited him twice and, in both occasions, he found himself involved in unforeseen creative experiences. The result of the first visit, in 1949, is a photograph of Picasso drawing a Centaur with a flashlight.
This extraordinary space drawing is a moment of Picasso's brilliance when faced with new visualization shapes and techniques. When Mili showed him some of his photographs of light patterns formed by skaters, Picasso reacted instantly, drawing in the air successive images with his own finger. Here are the pictures of these meetings.