Until now, I never quite ‘got’ Picasso. I thought he was a an egotistical person that became famous for reason only known to himself. I heard about him in school, in Kenya, everyone does around the world. I could pin point his work in a psychiatric text as if I wanted to, but his work never really appealed to me. I never really wanted to acquire his work or paint like him. I still don’t. But I now have a new sense of appreciation for his work and life as an artist.
But I now have a new sense of appreciation for his work and life as an artist.
A CHILD GENIUS
The man was a child genius of an artist. Granted he was the son of an Art teacher and his dad set him up with a studio or rather a room in which to paint at the age of 14. He painted “science and charity” one of the Picasso Museum in Barcelona’s processions. At the age of 15.
Whilst at the Museo of Reine Sofia two weeks ago, I came across the Gurneica, by Picasso, grey, black and white, 3.5 meters high and 7.8 meters wide, a mural-size canvas painted in oil. Picasso’s purpose in painting it was to bring the world’s attention to the bombing of the Basque town of Guernica by German bombers, who were supporting the Nationalist forces of General Franco during the Spanish Civil War. Picasso completed the painting by mid-June 1937 in Paris and it was kept at the MoMa in New York. Picasso refused for the painting to go to Spain until liberty and democracy had been re established and this happened in 1982.
A TOUR OF PICASSO
I remember going to the Picasso in South Africa museum in Cape Town whilst studying law and again, and I thought him to be pretentious jumping on the bandwagon of exoticism. I still don’t get his later style, perhaps it is in the expression and interpretation of people. I like the brightness of the colours but you won’t catch me buying a piece to own. Though that being said, whilst visiting a good friend whose parents have a flat in Berlin, my friend showed me a real pencil sketch by Picasso. There is something about seeing a world famous artists work privately owned. There is a certain intimacy to it.
There is something about seeing a world famous artists work privately owned. There is a certain intimacy to it.
What I liked about the Picasso museum was that it displayed his sketches, Picasso painted everywhere and on what ever he had at hand whether it was the back of a poster or a cigarette box and he experimented with different artists styles he was exposed to. During his “blue period” he was painting portraits of thinkers, revolutionists and the roof tops of Barcelona. He also experimented with still life in which he pays homepage to cezanne’a apples and gaugin’s bold outlines. Closer to home, Picasso later paints an interpretation of another of Spain’s great artists, Diego Valquez, “las meninas” that I saw hanging at the Prado museum in Madrid a week ago.
I didn’t go on a Picasso tour around Barcelona, but it was easy to see his presence everywhere, engravings, etchings across the city modeled on his sketches, including the “frieze of the children” and the wall of the “sardona”.
THE MONA LISA
Earlier this year I read a book the supposed theft of the Mona Lisa and although a work of fiction there are some links, Picasso’s friend was questioned on the theft of the Mona Lisa, but Picasso was never implicated.