Wednesday, September 21, 2016

"Vanity Fare"

10 x 10"
oil on panel


Featured in my new painting is Pablo Picasso's Girl Before a Mirror, painted in 1932.  There are few paintings of the 20th century that have been analyized, interpreted, reanalyized as much as this work of art.  Really, just Google 'analysis of Picasso's Girl Before a Mirror' and you'll get over 8,000 articles.

My observation, women are very drawn to it.  It represents vanity, self-image - what we see when we look in the mirror.  That's the easy interpretation.  Then it gets complicated.  

The model for Picasso was his young mistress Marie-Therese Walter, whom he painted numerous times.  Her real self on the left is brightly colored, beautiful, firm breasts, possibly pregnant while her reflection in the mirror is painted roughly, darker colors, her body more contorted, aged.  Some say it's her confronting her mortality, her future, her fate.  Some say it represents the anxiety of the times, rumors of wars, the world economy, fear and instability - the suppressed, real feelings deep down in one's heart.  In the daytime, we're vital and presenting beauty and confidence and at night we're fractured and anxious, fearing our fate. Sound familiar?

I don't usually analyize art.  I react - with pleasure due to the composition, colors, skill of the artist, etc, or the opposite of all those things.  Part of me always considers Picasso's renderings of women to be an example of the man himself - admiring youth and beauty, some say misogynistic and/or chauvinistic, hypersexual.  At least that's what people tell me.

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