Inspired by Picasso Portraits
Spain/ France 1881-1973
This week we looked at several portraits created by Pablo Picasso. I chose to focus the lesson on his portraits, because they embody many of the same techniques and style found in his collages and sculptures. Using brushstrokes to create angles and color he was able to reach inside the sitter and convey their innermost moods, and an array of human emotions to canvas. They are an avenue into his life and work.
Picasso was a Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, poet, and stage designer, and one of the most-influential artists of the 20th century. His parents, José Ruiz Blasco , a Professor of drawing, and Maria Picasso López recognized his unusual ability for drawing at a young age. He became his father’s pupil and by age 12 he surpassed his father’s abilities. The family moved to Barcelona in 1895, and Pablo entered the local art academy where his father taught. Two years later he was accepted at The Royal Academy of San Fernando. He soon became bored with academics and preferred to record life around him in the cafés and people in the streets. Picasso befriended a circle of Catalan artists and writers whose eyes were turned toward Paris and he followed .Pablo Picasso became the most dominant and influential artist of the 1st half of the 20th century.
On his first trip to the Musée d’Ethnographie in Paris, Picasso turned left by mistake, entering the African art galleries and came upon the sacred Dan masks of West Africa. His art and the art world to follow was forever changed. Influenced by the painting of Cézanne, African sculpture and ancient Iberian art, he started to develop his style and move from realism to abstract. This led him, along with Georges Braque, to pioneer collage and sculpture in ways that evolved into the Cubist movement and became the cutting edge of modern art.
Picasso was so financially successful that he could keep most of his oeuvre in his own collection. He was the master of reinvention and one of the most prolific artists in art history. At the time of his death he owned some 50,000 works in various media from every period of his career, a selection of which passed into possession of the French state and the rest to his heirs.
“Inspiration exists... but it has to find you working” Picasso
The classes were inspired by Picasso portraits this week. The lesson was to create their own mixed media portraits or characters and to convey a mood, emotion. Some were whimsical and some were serious, but they were all very creative and unique.