Sunday, August 30, 2009

36 Things: Watch a Documentary on Picasso

I've always liked Picasso, but I became a number one fan after visiting the Picasso Museum in Paris a couple years ago. Unfortunately, it closed 6 days ago for a two year renovation, so if you want to go, you have to wait a bit. The museum is so interesting since it is dedicated to Picasso alone (containing over 5000 pieces) and shows a wide range of his styles. Also, it was all artwork paid to the French government for inheritance taxes due upon Picasso's death.

While obviously the guy was a master at anything he put his hands to (drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, set design and on and on), what amazes me the most is how prolific he was in his lifetime. He created over 50,000 artworks!

So I checked out a DVD from the library: Artists of the 20th Century, Pablo Picasso.

Now, I enjoyed this DVD, but I had a few complaints. One, the filmmaker focused in pretty closely on the artworks, rarely giving you a full view of a piece. Two, it sounded like somebody's dissertation. I had to follow very, very closely to catch everything being said.

A few quotes from the movie, just so you know what I mean about the dissertation feeling:

"The diaphanous color planes begin to solidify and simplify as Braque and Picasso turn from an analytic to a synthetic approach to form and painting."


"The surrealists welcomed poets and painters who stressed the role of the unconscious and the ways the subterranean part of the human psyche manifested itself in dreams, fantasy, and spontaneous or automatic acts of mind and hand."

OR, my favorite, which is actually fairly readable:

"The bullfight remained a personal passion, which provided a staging ground for elemental violence in his paintings."

phew. All but the last photo I took at the Picasso Museum. The outdoor sculpture was my favorite.

Guernica: my favorite of all his pieces. A giant mural painted in memory of the Basque town of Guernica, destroyed by German Bombers hired by the Spanish Fascist government on April 26, 1937. Sad is war.

I'm not sure the documentary did a very good job of getting me into Picasso's psyche. It did, however, remind me of how lustful he was: six significant relationships and four children by three different women in his 91 year lifetime.

Another check off of my 36 Things I Want to do Before I Turn 37.

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