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Monday, March 21, 2011

Art you creative?

Rhetorical question pun. I did the cultured thing yesterday, with BD - we drove to Richmond to see the Picasso exhibit. I must set out at the beginning that I am a lukewarm Picasso fan.  I remember my mother explaining why cubism was something worth looking at and what in the world people were trying to do with deconstructionism. Intellectually I could 'get the point'. I had no trouble, even at 11, saying "well. Aren't they clever". But.

But most abstract art, reconstructed art, even surrealistic art, leaves me unmoved. With Picasso, where my heartbeat can thump away is when looking at his black line drawings on white or cream background.  These, no matter what style he's working in, simply thrill me. This technique, more than anything else he does, expresses the vividness of his mind and his mastery over his medium. (btw - this drawing was not in the exhibit)  

With almost nothing at all, just the fewest of lines, he captured and shared all that he saw colored by all the ways he thought. These are people I might want to be. This is drawing I wish I could do. Here, the artist connects with me in a pulsing bond that I carry away like I'd take a melody from a concert. I could pour over these for hours and at the exhibit, I did stand longest in front of his simple drawings and paintings.

So much else of his work is a one look experience for me. Once I'd seen one woman with her nose sticking off of her cheek, I'd seen pretty much all I needed to, and I can assure you - I have NO desire to become her - to step into the painting. I don't care for his color choices. I could see the fun he was having in his stone sculptures but the metal statuary merely looked like cartoon characters. In fact, because this particular exhibit, from the Musee National Picasso in Paris that houses his personal collection, is such a thorough retrospective of his work, you can really see, not just the passage of the century he reflected, but also the impact he had on our vision of art, even of the world, today.  Lots of anime, video game, sci-fi and comic book art obviously grew out of Picasso's images. Transformers are surely cubist monsters stepping out from behind the canvases of post WWI France.

This tepid review of the exhibit is highly colored by my personal reaction to 20th century art. As for the exhibit experience - oh my! I am so glad I went. Truly, I wouldn't have missed it for the world. Like listening to a symphony in the concert hall vs. a recorded rendition - no matter how perfect the recording, it's not the same - it's not as good. It doesn't have the impact that seeing the real thing hanging in front of you does. Breathtaking - that's the way the original piece strikes the viewer and now and then, it's how the actual art work struck me yesterday.

And besides - I got to knit all the way over and back. Almost half way through my What's the Point scarf. Happy Monday. An enormous thunderstorm with lightening is rolling in. Better log off now. Ta.

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