Tag Archives: Pablo Picasso

… seeing Picassos [3/3]

This is the finale to my seeing Picasso series. What follows is a mesh-mash of things. Hope you enjoyed it!

A random “artsy” shot of the museum.

this is the museum cafe (situated right outside the Picasso souvenir shop).

I was doodling along during my visit – so here is one of the quick studies. For my embarrassing comparison:

and then I started drawing random people.

I became attached to these miniature boats and wanted to document each one of them. bUt of course, I got shouted at by the security guard and had to restrain myself.

the level of detail is insaneeeee

photos of Picasso in the hallway leading to the exhibit.

After 3 hours of me going obsessive (my friend was pretty tired of the place by then) – we went to this quaint little French place for dinner.

they had these cute sketch collages on the walls – so appropriate after a night a the museum.

I had looked up the place before I left for the day and saw that they were big on mussels. At about 9pm, we got to the joint and the waiter told me they “ran out of” the damn things. Suffice to say, I was pretty disappointed. After much undecided looks at the menu, we got:

her dish

Believe it or not, we did not order the same dish – they just look identical. I had a very gamey (ugh) braised lamb shank, and my friend had some sort of beef ribs.

the sauce was a tad weird

All in all, I had a good great time (evident by the fact that I have been back to see the exhibit 3 times now). I realized that the brass sculptures I mentioned in part 2 are called THE BATHERS. So I’ll go back and update that post soon!

… seeing Picassos [2/3]

Sorry guys! I know some of you have been waiting for the next installment – my schedule has been pretty pack recently and I only found time to get this down because I’m sick now (thus, no partying/sports allowed)

We last left off at Picasso‘s famed Portrait of Dora Marr – turning around the corner in the gallery, we arrived at his politically inclined pieces:

Massacre In Korea – Picasso was particularly sensitive to the increasingly violent nature of  international political disputes. This painting depicts a number of females (some pregnant) about to be gunned down by fearsome machine like creatures. There is an obvious divide in the landscape. The women and children are in front of a collection of green hills whilst the opposition is backed by a flat, graying tundra.

Another famous war-piece was commissioned by the Spanish Gov’t: Guernica (wiki: The bombing of Guernica (April 26, 1937) was an aerial attack on the Basque town of Guernica, Spain, causing widespread destruction and civilian deaths):

An extremely patriotic man, Picasso was especially dedicated to this project – which took about 40 days to complete (extremely fast for such a large piece) This mural extends 11 feet by 25.6 feet and was exhibited at the 1937 Word’s Fair in Paris. It helped raise awareness for the Spanish Civil War that was plaguing the country at the time.

I have been dismissive of Picasso’s sculptures of various instruments. They are brilliant, of course – but I failed to make personal connections with them. I did, however, marvel at this set of sculptures depicting beach goers (made from flat metal sheets Picasso scavenged) This is a case of a picture is worth a thousand words. For the life of me, I can’t find pictures of them on Google so it’s very difficult for me to talk about them w/out reference. I’ll try to find a photo and I’ll update this post then.

Here’s is Jacqueline, Picasso latter wife. I love the angles in the painting – she looks like Cleopatra!

I don’t have much to say about this one – I simply have this visceral reaction to it.

The last of this series should be up by the end of the week – Ciao~


seeing Picassos [PART 1/3]

I had been anticipating my visit to the AGO to see the Picasso exhibit (150 +paintings and sculptures from his private collection) ever since I saw its adverts all over the city. Throughout middle school and high school, I basically thought his art was weird and incomprehensible. Now, I don’t think this is a controversial statement to make – most people consider non-realistic art “modern”, which translates into odd in casual speech (IMO). I had studied him in an art history course and still, he remains an enigmatic, almost larger than life character. Picasso himself loved the mysterious nature of his work. He encouraged the notion that his pieces did not obviously express or imply a particular message.

Suffice to say, I was a little apprehensive – but more importantly, I was excited. I’d seen a few of his originals in various museums in Boston and NYC (the MET) – but never had the chance to actually study the paintings (the downside of being in a tour). This could be the day I gain a firmer grasp of his art, his style, his culture.

I had secured a pair of tickets for Wednesday night (half price) and happily synced the audio commentary freely available on the museum’s site. SO after an eight hour day at work, I wolfed down half a cheeseburger leftover from lunch and got myself downtown to join a chum who also hadn’t experienced much live Picasso and was equally interested in the initiation. We met on the steps and skipped the giant queue (having paid before hand) of people who were there for the same show.

I was giddy, practically bouncing on the balls on my feet. After declining a pair of headphones (for the low low charge of $6), we entered the exhibit through a red corridor lined with photos of Picasso and his family. And then we were there:

Beginning with Exhibit Room 1 – it contained some of his early works. Celestina (trans: The Woman With One Eye) caught my eye (pun intended) from the get-go. It’s evidently from his blue period and is a somber, if not slightly terrifying portrait of a lady Picasso knew.

Her working eye is steadily watchful, and unnerving to say the least.
Image Credit: http://www2.richmond.com/mgmedia/image/0/354/129679/picassos-personal-collection-at-the-vmfa/

Scholars in the audio accompaniment quote Picasso as being unconcerned with how his art was interpreted. For instance:

Many scholars thought this sculpture was one of Picasso’s happier pieces because they believe the sheep is representative of the harvest season (and thus, good times). BUT Picasso apparently retorted (paraphrased) “it could’ve been any animal, there was no statement at all!”

Personally, I’m a little baffled at Picasso’s reaction. While I appreciate his desire to leave things “free to interpretation” – to devoid this piece of any meaning seems a little… thoughtless? Why did he chose to render a sheep? What was it about the sheep that made it more attractive as a subject? I suppose I like to base my readings on evidence, not on whim.

Anyway –  Portrait of Dora Marr must be one of my favorite paintings by Picasso. It’s painted in that curious in-between state. The chair and the body have mostly been broken down into 2-D shapes – but the picture is positively alive. Dora is luminous and her glaze – spell-binding. The way her face is presented seems to suggest that this picture is both candid and posed. Dora’s got one eye trained on the viewer, and the other, seems utterly non-nonchalant.

More to come later this week~