“When one has no character, one must have a method.” (Camus )
How can one reconcile such an atrocious human being with art? Unless its an art that glorifies the ugly, the sadistic; an impulse drunk on misogyny that craved sex while first conquering and dominating and then leveling the female gender to doormat status. It can be said that Picasso deconstructed the art historical tradition and left nothing but nihilisitic sympathy and utter chaos in its wake. Most obscurely, he viewed his art as a magical means to nuke the reality that was actually there. Kind of degrading to be a mercenary of the ugly and eternal lost causes.
Was it a vocabulary, a visual language that lost its energy and ability to be convincing? An art that became degraded, like an old hooker through repetition of a basic theme and a story of dissipated desire? An art that fell under the weight of smoke and mirrors. It was an art that attained a height of frivolty on an intellectual level like an elite inside joke that went nowhere and meant less. The bane of living a long life, yawning through another day of painting as art therapy, like coloring mandalas in a psychiatric ward, a man at the bottom of the tank of original ideas…
Kuspit:Picasso said that it took him a lifetime to learn to paint like a child; a child sees reality in a distorted way. He remained a malevolent child at heart — the kind who tears wings off butterflies, as many of his pictures of women suggest. They’re often battered beyond recognition, which suggests that he was a sadistic bully. It is also the reason he is a bad painter. Children can’t paint very well. Their art has the freshness of a false innocence, not the dignity of seasoned experience. Picasso’s art in general is over-rated; he appeals to our unconscious aggression, not to our mature perception. He was an arrogant child; Bion argues that arrogance is an expression of the death instinct. Picasso was an innovator, but innovation is not everything in art. The question is what motivates it, what attitude it expresses. The artist’s mentality finally counts for more than his method, however unusual (until it is assimilated as the latest novelty). Read More:http://www.artnet.com/magazineus/features/kuspit/lyonel-feininger-at-the-whitney-7-12-11.aspa
Mathis: Picasso and Michelangelo? Blasphemy! Even Picasso admitted it, in print. Picasso’s genius was the actor’s genius: that was his dominant instinct. And more recent Modern “artists”, though hardly geniuses of the stage as Picasso was, still find their dominant instinct and talent in acting, or less, in posing. …
…He was nice enough to leaven his lump of acting with some real works, at least in the beginning: he was required to, by the standards of the time. But as the 20th century lengthened, he saw (with gentle prodding from Duchamp, et. al.) that the works were superfluous. The audience was focused on the acting—that is what they needed—and the works could just as well go by the boards. The audience wanted colorful personalities, talk-show banter, stories to tell, newspaper copy, love affairs, and so on. Compared to all this, painted pictures were, well, so boring.Read More:http://mileswmathis.com/wagner.htmla
Real art must be slandered simply to protect the market. They are lost once things begin to have real definitions again, art first of all. If quality is re-introduced, either as beauty or skill or expression or melody or subtlety or elevation or decency, they are lost. They cannot supply the goods in that case.
In declining cultures, wherever the decision comes to rest with the masses, authenticity becomes superfluous, disadvantageous, a liability. Only the actor still arouses great enthusiasm….
…That is clear enough from Hollywood as well as MOMA, since we are back to the actor, the poser. But it is also true in realism, where the inauthentic art is more highly valued than the authentic. Kinkaid and Pino are only the most obvious examples, the inauthentic par exellence. Almost the entire rest of the field would be the other examples. Authentic art is looked at with distrust and unease, by gallery and client alike. Where would they hang it? Read More:http://mileswmathis.com/wagner.html
As each of the male figures in “The Family of Saltimbanques,” going from right to left, is successively taller, they may be viewed as representing the artist at different ages and stages of his own development into adulthood and into being a mature artist. In reverse order, the figures may represent Picasso’s capacity for controlled, playful regression, a facility related to his creativity. He placed the smallest figure closest to, yet separated from that of the mistress/mother figure. Picasso thus allowed himself, as a child, to be closest to the mother, and most distant from her as an adult. The larger-than-life self-portrait within “The Saltimbanques” is overtly the idealized self. But is the artist also asking “who is the real me,” in a sequential series of progressive and regressive self-representations? The fantasied audience of admiring spectators is the implicit family, to whom Picasso exhibits his artistic creativity. His narcissistic and oedipal triumph, however, is at the expense of psychological closeness and intimacy in his object relations. Sexual and aggressive impulses are inhibited, as the figures are motionless without interaction.
The hand of the artist, although placed behind his back, facing the viewer, is prominently displayed, but its position is a reversal of the forward hand required for the painting of the picture. The hand represents the creative process of the artist with its magical qualities; infantile omnipotence empowers the artist’s imagination. Picasso’s hand, like the immortal, disembodied hand of the prehistoric cave artist, is omnipresent in its creativity while the creator remains a dark mystery. While the prominent hand might symbolize a repressed masturbation fantasy of phallic procreation and impregnation, the hand of a great artist is especially endowed and integrated with perceptual sensitivity and artistic vision. The omnipotence of creativity is unconsciously attributed to the hand, and many artists have done studies of hands, which are a special part of their body ego and identity. The artist magically controls creation and destruction in his hands and eyes. A painting or sculpture can represent a “brain child” to be loved, neglected, or aborted. God has the whole world in his hand, as in the creation (or destruction) in God’s phallic finger in Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel painting. In the prehistoric cave paintings of Peche Merle (France), there are no human figures but the hand of an extraordinary cave artist is represented, perhaps traced, on the wall. The omnipotence to which we refer here is not simply an expression of infantile narcissism but is rather enlisted in the service of artistic creativity and novel composition.Read More:http://www.palgrave-journals.com/ajp/journal/v67/n2/full/3350023a.html