Wednesday, July 25, 2007



I have been watching a series on PBS called 'The Power of Art". It is very well hosted by a British fellow named Simon Schamas. He is very informative on the History of Art and Artists and each episode has been devoted to a single Artist. I have learned that to fully appreciate the Painting, it helps to know about the Artist and the circumstances surrounding its creation. At least it does foer me.
His very dry sense of humor has brought me to laugh aloud even while watching a show about Art.
I like that a lot.
One of the first ones that I saw was on Pablo Picasso. I have never cared for Picasso, but have a better appreciation for Pablo Picasso the Artist having watched the show.

What I want to tell you though is what I learned about Pablo Picasso the Man.
It seems his most famous Painting, called "Guernica" is a Mural depicting the 1937 Nazi bombing of a Bosque village in Spain. It is a Giant Mural done in Oil.
In 1941 the Gestapo raided Picasso's apartmernt in Paris. During the ransacking of the studio, a postcard size reproduction of the famous painting was found. A Nazi officer waved it threateningly under Pablo's nose demanding the Artist to tell him...
"Who did this?WHO...DID...THIS?"
I can imagine a certain Artistic serenity in the air as Picasso proudly, calmly answers....
"You did"
Good answer.
A man that eloquent deserves my admiration.
It makes my chest swell up and I find that I am sitting a little straighter as I type this.

From Mr. Schamas:
"This is not a series about things that hang on walls; it is not about decor or prettiness," Schama says. "It is a series about the force, the need, the passion of art -- the power of art."
Speaking of Art, allow me to direct you to Gewels and her well crafted post today.


GEWELS said...

Aww schucks, Steve, mine's just dumb pictures of my garden- but, thank you anyway.

I, just yesterday, picked up a book about Picasso's life- is that weird, or what? Great minds think alike.

I feel the same abut Salvador Dali-I have been to the dali museums in both St. Petersburg, Fl. and Paris. I never cared for his work- just too bizarre for me. However, seeing his work and hearing of his life and inspirations and what it was that drove him to create what he did puts a new spin on all of it. He was an amazingly talented and creative individual. The breadth and scope of his work is not to be believed...I had no idea!

See, it does pay to pay for the headphones.

Dave Mows Grass said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave Mows Grass said...

That is a witty but dangerous comeback! It reminds me of the episode of Fawlty Towers when the German tourists visit the Inn. Basil upsets one of the German ladies by carrying on and on about the Nazis in WWII. One of the German men finally shouts at him:

"Why don't you shut up!"

"You started it!" says Fawlty.

"No we didn't!"

"Yes you did, when you invaded Poland!"

If I didn't always appreciate
"fine art," I started to once we went to see a Broadway play called Miss Siagon at the Walton Arts Center here in Fayetteville. It was brilliant! Seeing Riverdance about a year after that cranked my appreciation up a bit more. I've always appreciated the low-grade proletariat art that I immerse myself in.

steve said...

Gewels, you might be interested to know that I have had this post in draft for a couple of few weeks...and it was your post that made me want to go ahead and post it! I think they call that full circle.
Someday I'm going to have to go to to one of those art Museums...they have headphones? Like with Ted nugent and REO Speedwagon?

Dasvy- Protelariat Art in Fayetteville? Here in Texas we have Lariat Sam!

kissyface said...

Funny that it's that painting, the only one by Picasso I ever really cared for, but it's one of the few by anyone anywhere that stirred me to tears. It is an impossibly powerful work. It tears the heart, it works mythically, it is beautiful and terrible, and is the pinnacle of artistic achievement.

The anecdote is wonderful.

Thank you.

Barbara said...

I first ran into Guernica when I read Davita's Harp by Chaim Potok. Potok talks a lot about that painting and the history behind it.

I generally prefer the works of Impressionists like Monet and Degas, but I've also become at least more aware of Dali and Picasso, having visited both museums in Paris.

I'm still totally in awe when I see a real Picasso hanging on someone's wall.

Akelamalu said...

What a perfect retort!

Anonymous said...

WOW - synchronistic -

pisces just had Guernica posted on his pyramid post last week .... i commented there as i am going to here, that I spent a day at The Prado in Spain (my 40th birthday present) ...

a small copy of Guernica was the only thing I brought back with me - it affected me that much as well. (well, i also brought olive oil back .... a different appetite !)

great post Steve .... now I see why grey is your favorite color ..

steve said...

It was Picasso's comeback that relly got me...i wish I had paid better attention to the episode...
i DID NOT REALLY EXPECT AS MANY OF YOU TO HAVE (excuse me) something to say about him.

KF- "beautiful and terrible"- thats kinda what schama's was talking about with his quote...well, maybe not.
Barbara- Paris! Monet! OuiOui!

Malu- Gutsiest move i've ever heard of, that remark!
(that means very bold and brave, us yanks think courage comes fronmm guts)

RDG- i haven't really seen a good copy of this yet, but what I've seen I don't quite understand...i hear there are smaller figures embedded in each of the larger subjects...
perhaps Iscariot has been watching this series as well- its very good.

Old Lady said...

Send me your PBS schedule. I seem to miss all these great shows!!!

When did Iscariot come to being?