#art, Some Truths About Picasso…

(Picasso dancing in front of «Bathers at La Garoupe»/Cannes, La Californie/July 1957/photo by David Douglas Duncan/private collection/rtve)

Pablo Picasso, genius of art, genius of the XXth C. that opened art to distinct styles such as cubism and the inventor of the collage. The man with the golden touch that turned any painting into a wonder, a priceless wonder. It has been said that he was a prodigious child and that from the moment a pencil came into his hand he started creating masterpieces. Actually, the anecdote is that the first word he tried to pronounce was «piz» (or something like that) which was a request for a «lápiz» which means pencil in Spanish.

Then it is said that his first painting, the one below, was something incredible for a lad of nine. But is it really that great? And to judge we have to also add that during those first nine years little Pablo was exposed to drawing, painting and anything and everything related to art as his father was an artist and a professor of art.

(«El picador amarillo»

In any event, Pablo grew up in a pampered environment and with an artist father that was guiding him, teaching him and preparing him for the admission tests to the Academia de San Fernando, the most prestigious art school in the Kingdom of Spain. He finished all the requirements, i.e. the entrance examination, in one week. But not so fast, don’t be too fascinated.

First, let’s look at the background. His father, an artist and art professor, guided him, rented a private studio for him in Barcelona (which is where the family was living at the time), also used his influence and contacts to get Pablo to be allowed to take the entrance examinations and prepared him. I can tell you that if you attend a private academy, or if an artist prepares you, you can take the examination and finish it in a week as well. That is no mystery and I am sure that many others have done it as well.

(«Science and Charity» painted at age 16)

As far as his first exhibitions… Well, here again, his father helped him immensely and his talent, I do have to say that his work ethic, his untiring work paid off tremendously, making him a talented young artist. But that he was a genius or a super-gifted artist at that age, well, we just don’t know. It is impossible to know how Michelangelo or how da Vinci painted at the age of nine, or thirteen. There are many art students who can paint that way but they just didn’t have the luck Picasso had. And Picasso had plenty of good luck.

(«Portrait of Aunt Pepa» panted at 15 years of age)

Now, do not get me wrong, I am a great admirer of Pablo Picasso and the portrait above, of Tía Pepa, is a masterpiece, I mean she is there, she is alive…

So, Picasso was a great painter and for me an inspiration and a mentor. But we have to take all the hype and adulation with a grain of salt. He did great things in art, but it was not intuitive or anything like that. It was training, schooling, education and hard, very hard work. That is the road to success in art but if you do not have what Picasso surely had, luck, there is a chance that your genius will never be known…

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9 Comentarios

  1. Angela Schaffer dice:

    As an artist, it bothers me when people use the word “genius” when it comes to artists. It implies that creating art is something that is unattainable to most people. It’s not true.

    While many artists are geniuses, many are not. Art making is a set of skills that anyone can learn.

    Le gusta a 1 persona

    1. I agree Angela. The genius comes in, not because of the ability to make art, which requires talent (hard work), effort, education and taste, but in the way that some artists have expanded art and created/invented styles and movements. After all art is visual philosophy and that taken towards new frontiers expands the limits of any art form. And yes, many artists are not geniuses, actually, many don’t even have any talent at all…
      Thank you!

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  2. vermavkv dice:

    Nice information about Picasso, Sir.

    Le gusta a 1 persona

    1. I am so glad you liked it my friend. Thank you! Wishing you a great weekend!

      Me gusta

  3. Easymalc dice:

    I know that you’re a great fan of Picasso Francesc, and you probably know that I’m not, but posts like these are always enlightening for someone like me so that I can appreciate why you like the artist so much.

    Le gusta a 1 persona

    1. Yes, Picasso is my mentor and inspiration, but I understand why he became who he became. Luck mixed with privilege (a tinge of nepotism) and tireless effort. Nothing prodigious about that…

      Le gusta a 1 persona

  4. equipsblog dice:

    Many talented people are «discovered» as are less worthy talents. I think luck plays as big a part regarding who becomes famous as hard work and talent.

    Le gusta a 1 persona

    1. Oh luck is definitely a most important factor…

      Le gusta a 1 persona

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