SerenaRen OrchardHills School 8th Grade
The countlessly praised man, Pablo Picasso, is an influential artist in many aspects, for one, he, alongside Georges Braque, paved the way for collage and cubism.
Cubism is the first abstract style of modern art, ignoring the traditions of perspective drawing, and instead showing an object from multiple views at the same time.
This art movement would grow to become an inspiration for many contemporary artists. That being said, what were Picasso’s inspirations to paint the forms he did? One could exclaim that this figure simply had a visionary character; however, there must be more.
Firstly, African tribal masks. Tribal masks are used to represent the spirits of ancestors or to control the forces of good and evil, thus playing an important role in rituals. Picasso’s so-called “African-influenced Period” lasted from 1907 to 1909, in which he was heavily influenced by art from other cultures such as African sculptures and the art of ancient Egypt and Iberia.
In this time period, there were many causes for the peak in interest in African art: art objects were coming from Africa to French museums in Paris.
Many artists were inspired by the artifacts they saw, Picasso included. Although the artist tried to deny the statement, there is much evidence that paintings of his, such as Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, were inspired by African art.
Out of the five women in Demoiselles, 1907, the two on the right were based on African totem art that Picasso collected. In this Spanish painter’s future works, he continued drawing people in a style similar to the two women, leading on to another inspiration of his, women.
The famous artist spent time seducing numerous women, giving them affection and creating various artworks inspired by them, only to leave many in emotional shambles the following day. In Picasso’s artistic career, he passionately painted his muses in multiple styles.
The man painted some of his lovers realistically, others not as much. In his later years, he would paint his muses distorted and in object-like forms such as musical instruments or chairs. “There are only two kinds of women, goddesses and doormats,” Picasso once said.
The discussion as to why Picasso is a morally bad person can go on and on. People argue that art should not be separated from the artist, as to not disregard the artist’s innovations, achievements and skills, and perceive a creation with complete context, especially since Picasso clearly expressed his attitude and surroundings in his art.
When one looks up to the product of something a creator dedicated time towards, don’t hesitate to re-contextualize the work while examining what were the person’s inspirations.
<SerenaRen OrchardHills School 8th Grade