You gotta love Picasso. Because there’s no one else like him. And there never will be either.
Well, that headline might be a bit presumptuous. Charles H. Duell, then Commissioner of the U.S. patent office, once - cirka 1899 (allegedly) said: ‘Everything that can be invented has been invented.’ and that turned out to be, well, not true. So, of course I gotta watch my tongue when I say that there will never be anyone else like Picasso, but I really don’t think we’ve ever seen anyone even remotely as talented – or with as great influence as him. I think the closest we’ve got talent wise right now is the amazing Gerhard Richter, whom I’ll write a little about at a later date, but he’s still quite a long way away from Picasso.
Picasso is truly the biggest painter of our time and my biggest idol without anyone coming even close. Unfortunately I sometime get the impression that people only know him for some of his crazier works: Women with noses on the middle of their cheeks and eyes in some messed up places. And even though he surely defined modern art for decades with those works, I think it’s important to remember that he was a complete natural and that he mastered virtually all genres. Check out ‘his’ website here. Or the wikipedia entry here. Or try to look at one of the more comprehensive Picasso books in your local library or bookstore. Photo realistic painting. Nailed it. (probably around age 13-14). Portraits. Nailed it. Impressionism. Nailed it. Cubism. Nailed it (and better still: Basically invented it along with Braque). Sculptures. Nailed it. Or how about his famous blue period. Tristesse defined. Or his rose period. How appropriate after the blue periode. Then of course he started to really fuck with our minds and perception with all those very abstract, naive, surrealist paintings like the women with noses on the middle of their cheeks and eyes in some messed up places and all that.
Copenhagen, September 2011
Photo realistic painting. The First communion, 1896.Double version here.
Portraits. Petrus Manach, 1901. Double version here.
Impressionism. Moulin de la Galette, 1900. Double version here.
Cubism. Les Demoiselles D’avignon,1907. Double version here.
Sculptures. Bull’s Head, 1942. Double version here.
Blue Period. Woman Ironing, 1904. Double version here.
Rose period. Mother and Child, 1904-1906. Double version here.
Abstracts. Dora Maar, 1937. Double version here.
And who else but a true genius would come up with this?
Below is a selection of some of the gems they’ve got at Centre Pompidou, Paris. Other than that, I can definitely recommend the Moma in New York, where they’ve also got a great collection (Les Demoiselles D’avignon for example hangs there).