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Dating : And his love changed clothes — Picasso and his Wife

h2>Dating : And his love changed clothes — Picasso and his Wife

Gutenberg

Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) was a prolific artist, synonymous with evocative portrayals of humanity. A measure of how larger than life his impact has been is how his surname is a household one, embraced by pop-culture even earning a homage in the 1995 Disney-Pixar classic Toy Story.

For my part I consider him a genius — not because I agree with the message his work contains, but rather in that I recognize he threw himself into making the forms he used to communicate his message, consistent with the nature of the message itself.

Consider one of his most famous pieces les demoiselles d ’Avignon.

les demoiselles d ’Avignon by Pablo Picasso (1907)

The subjects in the above piece are prostitutes, workers at a brothel Barcelona. From left to right we can see the transformation in how each of the five are depicted, first the most human, then a transfiguration into the beastial crouched figure. This is significant. In it we can see a parable for the prevalence of ‘niche-marketing’ made ever more oppressive by the chains of silicon and circuitry, and the individual is annihilated into crude shapes. (aka the sections that ‘intersect’)

Women would be at the center of Picasso’ heart and subsequently the inspiration for much of his work. Note the contrast between the manner in which the above brothel workers are depicted, and the delicate touch applied to Picasso’ first wife and mother of his child, — the Russian dancer Olga Khokhlova — in the sketch at the introduction and below:

Paintings of Olga by Picasso

The difference is profound — and I argue is not the result of mere artistic experimentation but an inevitable result of how Picasso felt towards this one woman, his muse and love, distinct from everything else his eyes saw beneath the sun. Strong evidence of this can be found in the evolution of similar descriptive-visual language in the same vein as the les demoiselles d ’Avignon during the same time-frame, and the visual butchery he would undertake in latter years when their marriage failed and as he began his affairs with new ‘goddesses’ . This is the word he would choose to describe women ‘either goddesses or doormats’ — his idolatry was all consuming, and I do not think he ever learned that his love was corrupted again and again by his own profound hunger, because men make idols to feed their hunger.

I choose not to include his grotesque attacks on Olga in the article — they are evil things that do the viewer no good, except as an example of what-not-to-do. ‘Dance’ 1925, ‘Nude in a red chair’ 1929, and the culmination — ‘Head of a woman’ 1935, show just how far his love turned to hate of her.

“Every time I change wives I should burn the last one. That way I’d be rid of them. They wouldn’t be around to complicate my existence. Maybe, that would bring back my youth, too. You kill the woman and you wipe out the past she represents.”

― Picasso

What do you think?

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