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Archive for October 25th, 2011

Picasso was born October 25, 1881, in Malaga, Spain.  He spent his teen-age years in Barcelona, a hot bed of anarchy in the 1890’s.  His friends were anarchist writers and artists, ten and twenty years older than he:  Santiago Rusinol (1861-1931), Ramon Casas (1866-1932), and Isidro Nonell (1873-1911).  They discussed the writings of Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin and Nietzsche.  They were anti-church and anti-government, outraged by the impoverishment of Spanish peasants who poured into the cities.  They believed that an artist has to transform himself, to overcome his past and create himself anew.

Picasso is often presented as anti-intellectual and a-political, an image he himself encouraged. But, in fact, he wrote poetry.  He wrote a play in which Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir read the leads.  His dealer H.D. Kahnweiler said, Picasso was completely unpolitical, but Picasso joined the Communist Party in 1944. The newspaper clippings he collaged into his late cubist work all deal with the horror of war.   Picasso is a complex character.  Well, I just thought I’d mention this on his birthday

“Yo Picasso,”  1901.  Oil on canvas, ~ 73 cm x 65 cm.   (I, Picasso)

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