blog > Posts tagged "Picasso"

Where is your Picasso?? by Misha Lyuve

Feb 24, 2011

Writing about Picasso’s guitars in the last posting had me question what it would be like to walk around life having Picasso’s vision. His art is an expression of the vision, but the vision itself — is it accessible to us, mortals?? Can we learn it? study it? develop it over time? What would it take to uncover a not-readily seen beauty in a bottle of water or a plastic spoon full of my breakfast oatmeal? I was up for an experiment.

An opening came from nothing less glamorous as a lid of NYC sewer.  It was a very ordinary sewer lid, round, with sticky mud around the edges in a broken filthy sidewalk and a sign “NYC SEWER”, just in case one would get it confused with a passage into Alice’s wonderland. 

But as I sharpened my vision and zoomed in on the object, leaving behind what I knew it to be and what was underneath it, I could suddenly see a pattern and texture that in my eyes had a value of beauty. 

The rest was easy. Suddenly, most ordinary buildings, fences, stairs and floors were rushing to me to share their secrets.

Undressing a guitar by Misha Lyuve

Feb 20, 2011
This posting is inspired by Picasso: Guitars (1912-1914) exhibition in MOMA.


(To the left: Still life with Guitar. Variant state. Paris, assembled before November 15, 1913. Paperboard, paper, string, and painted wire installed with cut cardboard box)


The only reason we don’t have our eyes come out on the other sides of our heads looking at Picasso’s work is because we’ve been seeing it everywhere for a while. But if we did, like our predecessors in early 1900s, see it for the first time, we would be shocked. And I am inviting you to be shocked.  

Let’s start with how we normally see: our sight gently glides across an object paying attention to at most its superficial, obvious and/or already familiar to us characteristics. Picasso’s vision of his objects is from inside out, like of a lover. He strips his guitars naked, bringing out the most striking features of the outside and the most intimate of the inside, putting them together in a way that they turn alive, move and make sound even on a two-dimensional canvas. 

Violin Hanging on the Wall. Possibly begun Sorgues, summer 1912, completed Paris, early 1913. Oil, spackle with grit, enamel, and charcoal on canvas. 25 9/16 x 18 1/8" (65 cm x 46 cm). Kunstmuseum, Bern.

 Newspaper, wallpaper, cardboard and sheet music - old and retired from their dialy duties - were not neglected and masterfully repurposed through Picasso’s vision for a new life in the world of high art. 

So yes, let’s be shocked by the creativity and vision of this man. My only problem with Picasso’s vision is that it makes me feel blind.   But also inspired.

Guitar. Paris, March 31, 1913, or later. The Museum of Modern Art, New York.