A Painting is worth a thousand …
During his 93 years on earth, Picasso completed about 13,000 paintings. Picasso used many media types in his art, including sculpture, drawing, printmaking, and ceramics, but most often he painted. In his earlier days, he painted landscapes, capturing a universal beauty emanating from a magical place that only he could see.
Not long ago I stood staring at one of his landscapes, and I couldn’t help but notice a lone figure, a miniature man standing in complete solitude, as if he was buried in the surrounding beauty. I wondered if the painter had seen someone walking by and hastily drew him as he passed. Had he brought one of the local townspeople to that spot and paid him to be there? Or had he placed himself in his painting, as a marker of the desolate human condition?
When I reflected on this work of art, I wondered what he wanted us to see in this particular painting. Was the man mostly invisible, or was he meant to be discovered
by the viewer? Were some to walk away with an image of quietude while others with an image of loneliness? Who can say? Picasso is dead, and so are all of the great Cubist painters of his time.
Perhaps when one looks at a work of art, the gift of the artist is that the viewer can fuse their take on its beauty with that which they brought of their own when they first gazed upon its creation.
Patrick J. Wood
Author of “Dear Reader” and “Tapestry of Love and Loss”