That boy Pablo

May 19th, 2008
Picasso : A Biography
Patrick O’Brian

Only put off til tomorrow what you
are willing to die having left undone.

Pablo Picasso

I've been reading an excellent biography of that boy Pablo. I bought it on a whim in a Barcelona bookstore since I had virtuously decided not to bring bubblegum books and had nothing to read. Bubblegum books are what my son calls the mysteries I read for complete diversion. I didn't think an indepth study of Picasso qualified as bubblegum.

What an amazing man lived in Picasso's skin. Another Barcelona genius. He was consumed by his art, and his friends were pulled into his powerful dynamic, a swirling vortex of creativity. The stories of his schooling (sounds dyslexic to me) early poverty, and dedication to his work are truly inspiring.
There can be No excuses.
I spent a dismally rainy morning in the soaring hallways of the museum that Barcelona has dedicated to him. Several medieval town houses have been artfully combined to allow room for a sequential exposition of his works. As a young artist I was enamored with the elegant, perfection of his drawings, his  gorgeous flat colored designs, as well as the elaborate puzzles of cubist paintings. I had no idea at that time how his passion for his work fit into the scheme of a human life. His life. Then later I read his bio by Francois Gilot and was struck by his selfish, sexist arrogance more than his genius.
Now at a different time in my life I am stunned by his productivity, his passion, and the gift and curse of his talent.

Oddly, the painting that struck me  most deeply was "Science and Charity" painted when he was 16. It's huge- at least 4' x 5', at least as it looms in my memory. The models are his family. The bearded doctor is his father. I was impressed not so much by it's pathos, but for the sheer mastery of his painting skills at that age.
Time to get to work!

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