Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Picasso Exhibit

On Sunday January 16th Bryan and I went to see the Picasso exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum, SAM. 

I was never a Picasso fanatic.  In fact I don’t think I’ve ever been a fanatic about any one artist since I was in high school.  And that artist was Dali.  I was a fan because he painted things that were not there very realistically.  It was the beginning of my artist career.  I still appreciate Dali’s work and what it influenced me to do, but I’m no fanatic.  I do have a Dali book that a friend way back when gifted to me when he discovered my fascination, it sits on a shelf, battered from my back pack but untouched for years.
Back to Picasso.  I’ve seen his work in my Art History books, and all over the art world.  I remember seeing him in a wheel chair cutting out bird like designs and covering a wall with them.  I was a little impressed but I never thought twice about him or his work.

Actually that’s a lie, there is one painting he did that was in my Art History book that I was draw towards.  It is Artist's Sonthe Artist’s Son.  The reason I was drawn to it is that it is unfinished.  The face so porcelain like and the clothes so colorful, but the rest of it is sketchy and unfinished.  I saw this piece in person at this show in Seattle, and that same feeling hit me all over again but this time there was at least recognition there.
I had a friend in high school who gifted me an unfinished painting.  I was displeased with him too.  Why would you present an unfinished piece?  I look back at that piece and am grateful that he at least gave me something.

There were some pieces I like a lot and was impressed by, especially some of the historical ones where he depicted the invasion and destruction of his home.  I think that was the story at least?

I never gave any artist deep thought unless I learned about the person’s life and tribulations.  This happened with Gustav Klimt, Georia O’Kieff, and Mattisse.  I learned about their life, read books written about them, wrote reports about them, and then became interested in their work.  So the more I’m learning about Picasso’s life the more I’m interested in his work.

I went to the show, I looked at his work, and now I’m reading a book about his life.  I’m doing this backwards, I should have read the book first, but the show snuck up on me and I bought tickets at the last minute so my appreciation was not there. 
What I do know is I would hate to have my random sketches from my notebooks on display.  Sketches that were warm ups, or studies, or just for fun, nothing I’m particularly proud of, on display.  I have instructed my loved ones that by some freak accident I get that famous, they are not allowed to show any work that I did not show myself.  Unless it’s going to make them a crap ton of money that they would not already have.

After I am done reading my Picasso book I will have to revisit this subject.  As of right now only a few chapters in my first impression is what a lucky little badger, he gets a painter for a father that indulges his creative whims and his lack of discipline.

Did anyone else see the show who is already a huge Picasso fan?

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