Picasso the destroyer

I remember the first time I saw Guernica, the 25 foot wide canvas of a town in Spain bombed into oblivion. Honestly, I almost threw up. It was that powerful.

Picasso’s quote about it adds even more intensity to the piece…

“Screaming children, screaming women, screaming birds, screaming flowers, screaming trees and stones, screaming bricks, screaming furniture, beds, chairs, curtains, sauce-pans, cats, paper, screaming intermingling smells, screaming smoke hitting you on your back, screams stewing in a big cauldron, and the screams of birds falling like rain on the sea and inundating it.”

The connection between the overpowering canvas and his words enabled me to start to see the artist within. On that canvas he painted pain. He painted demolition. He painted hell.

He created destruction. More than any of his other works, Guernica embodies his strength as an interpreter of ideas.

His talent was so impressive that I put him on a pedestal. I translated that canvas and those words into something larger than life. I started to see it as a work painted by a true genius. I became a fan boy, a groupie. I sought out his other works and his museums whenever I could find a spare hour or two in a new city.

Then I read this book. It’s a powerful biography of the man that created and the man that destroyed.

He’s known for his prolific work. He created like few others. During his life it’s estimated that he created 30,000 pieces of artwork.

What I wasn’t aware of was his equal cadence of destruction. This book offers a deeper view into a man who truly saw himself not only as a Sun, complete with a series of planets orbiting him… but perhaps as a stand-alone universe. If you’re a fan of his work (and who isn’t) pick this book up. I can almost guarantee you won’t look at his work the same way again.

“Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth.” – Picasso

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