Many people say Pablo Picasso suffered from depression, but it’s not clear whether this claim is true. One of the most common signs of depression is an increased need for solitude and reduction in social interaction, both attributed to Picasso by some experts. However, other experts argue that his artistic success led him into a more solitary existence because he felt like others were taking advantage of him.
The term “masterpiece” is spoken about so frequently that you’d think every time an Old or Modern Master took up a brush or chisel, they were racking up superlative creative triumphs.
What, there aren’t any duds?
Here’s an example from recently. The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., which was founded in 1921 as America’s first treasure house of Modern Art, used the phrase “masterpiece” to advertise its new exhibition “Picasso: Painting the Blue Period.”
“We are pleased for our community to see these – (wait for it) – masterpieces,” Phillips Curator Susan Behrends Frank told ArtDaily, noting that Picasso’s Blue Period was created while he was a “fledging painter” in his late teens and early twenties.
From a fledgling, greatness?
Picasso was not just a novice, but he was also depressed at the time, and it was this unsteady mental condition that fueled his Blue Period. Should this era of art, supposing it was superb, be regarded as great when it was driven unintentionally? “Contemporary Color: Theory and Use,” by Steve Bleicher, was published in 2011.
I’d want to emphasize that I’m merely posing questions here, not necessarily providing answers. It’s simply that there isn’t enough critical thinking in the art industry, given all of the exaggeration.
Picasso’s poet buddy Carles Casagemas committed himself at the age of 21 after a failed love affair. He fell into a deep despair as a result of the death, and his Blue Period started. At the period, every painting depicted some kind of sorrow.
He quit restricting his palette to blue after three years of being depressed.
Another method to cast doubt on Picasso’s legacy is to wonder whether his choice to paint in monochrome was motivated by sadness. What difference does it make if the response is no? Is his art amazing if he has no idea what he’s doing or why he’s doing it? Was this a real-life Chauncy Gardner in the making?
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What is Chauncy Garner’s background?
Chauncy Gardner was a simpleton who maintained a garden and mindlessly mumbled simple declarative lines about gardening, in case you haven’t read Jerzy Kosinski’s satiric book “Being There” or seen the 1970 film version. However, everyone he encountered, including the US president, mistook them for deep insight.
I’m not the only one who doubts Picasso’s grandeur. However, when I study work from when he was 20, art critic Jonathan Jones of the Guardian appears to shrink everything he painted: “Each work by Picasso is of a single period in his life…anecdotes or snapshots of a certain moment in his life.” Germaine Greer, a cultural analyst, called these painted diaries “inherently frivolous.” (With the exception of Guernica, I agree.)
Picasso seems to be conscious of the cliched nature of his work. He told the writer Giovanni Papini in 1952 that when he’s alone with himself, he doesn’t consider himself as an artist in the historical meaning of the term, despite his wealth and celebrity. “Giotto, Titian, Rembrandt, and Goya are examples of great artists. I’m just a street performer… My confession is harsh, and it hurts more than it seems.”
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