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The Smart-Ass Guide to Art

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)

Full Name: Pablo Ruiz y Picasso

Les Desmoiselles d'Avignon (1907)
(Just in case you're wondering, the "ladies" above are prostitutes!)
Country: Spain
Style: Well, most notably Cubism (among others)
Major Works:
Old Guitarist (1903)
Les Desmoiselles d'Avignon (1907)
Girl w/ Mandolin (1910)
Still Life w/ Chair Caning (1911-12)
Three Musicians (1921)
Guernica (1937)

Interesting Stuff: A general bon vivant, ladies man, and all around fun guy at parties, Picasso lived life to its fullest. Anyone who has been called "That Nietzscean monster from Malaga" and "The Walking Scrotum" must have been living it up, don't you think?

If you think the things said about him are cool, check out these quotes from the man himself:

One of the most influential of all painters, his work is a continuing metamorphosis of styles, with the pickiest of art historians counting over 100. Best known is "cubism", which deals with envisioning objects from multiple vantage points at the same time. Sound like a problem from the relativity section of you high school physics class? Well, it is in a way. Take Einstein, rewire his brain a bit, get him laid, add some paint, and what you get is likely Picasso.

Picasso created work in many different media, constantly expressing himself through different means. He was an early proponent of collage, opened up the medium of ceramics, and may have single-handedly reinvigorated the idea of printmaking as art.

Recently, there has been quite a bit of talk about Picasso's alchemical, mystical, and occult leanings. It's well known that he hung out with composer Erik Satie (who was a Rosicrucian) and other mystical types. In fact, there is a symbolism-laden 1934 drawing that the Picasso estate is refusing to help verify. Is it a conspiracy, or just some kooks trying to make a few bucks? See for yourself at The Picasso Conspiracy.

In 1971, Picasso became the first living painter to have an exhibition at the Louvre - a showing in honor of his 90th birthday.

Additionally, Picasso is the only artist I know of that is mentioned in a Devo song. Check out this clip from Through Being Cool (wav file).


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