Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Les Demoiselles d'Avignon

Les Demoiselles d'Avignon
Pablo Picasso
C L I C K     T O     E N L A R G E

Picture:  4500 x 4661 at 300 dpi - Wikipedia

Flat, faces marred with distortion, ragged line and color inappropriate for sensual thought.  The unappealing nude challenging the viewer to find sex here.  Yes, I see your armpit.  Why is that hand so awkwardly rising from on top the darkened, mask of a head?  You are a time warp with your ancient Egyptian stance and unblinking eyes of primitive figurines.  You are an oversized crumpled discard of a thought, mocking my humanity.

I strongly suspect this begins Picasso.  This is his door in the dream that we prefer not to walk through but can’t do otherwise.  We know our fears wait just beyond our view but we grasp the latch and swing open the door none the less.  We’re determined to confront our tearful, hideous dread.  So why the door?  What meaning does it have for us?  Maybe it provides the curtain lifting.  Even the exposure of truth requires some semblance of a show.  Every truth comes wrapped in a story.  For us there is no meaning, otherwise. 

What is the story of Les Demoiselles d’Avignon?  What story lies in the anonymous face of the dead?  Life placed in the human form becomes a magic show… filled with charm and delightful surprise.  Take life away and the form appears robbed of illusion.  Was it ever really what we thought? 

What is the beauty of this lullaby Picasso has painted?  Yeah, lullaby.  Do you not find a quieting stillness amidst this dissonance?  Humanity is to be found beckoning here.  It is much like Ginsberg’s rheumy-eyed vision of the soot covered near toothless sunflower.  We see what vision portrays for us only when we are ready.  The artist views a woman and with oil and brush portrays one’s own internal landscape.  If it is true it will hold a revelation for the artist as well as the woman portrayed.  Here is the young Picasso’s Sermon on the Mount, his parable that all life harbors a search so long as there is breath.             

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