Saturday, August 06, 2005

The emperors new clothes

Both of these two pieces are by Pablo Picasso, one is a painting, the other is the emperor's new clothes.

Picasso himself said as much, though modernist tend to ignore it:

"From the moment that art ceases to be food that feeds the best minds, the artist can use his talents to perform all the tricks of the intellectual charlatan. Most people can today no longer expect to receive consolation and exaltation from art. The 'refined,' the rich, the professional 'do-nothings', the distillers of quintessence desire only the peculiar, the sensational, the eccentric, the scandalous in today's art. I myself, since the advent of Cubism, have fed these fellows what they wanted and satisfied these critics with all the ridiculous ideas that have passed through my mind. The less they understood them, the more they admired me. Through amusing myself with all these absurd farces, I became celebrated, and very rapidly. For a painter, celebrity means sales and consequent affluence. Today, as you know, I am celebrated, I am rich. But when I am alone, I do not have the effrontery to consider myself an artist at all, not in the grand old meaning of the word: Giotto, Titian, Rembrandt, Goya were great painters. I am only a public clown--a mountebank. I have understood my time and have exploited the imbecility, the vanity, the greed of my contemporaries. It is a bitter confession, this confession of mine, more painful than it may seem. But at least and at last it does have the merit of being honest."

That is so sad. I have never encountered something so like the emporer's new clothes story then this.


Blogger Amber said...

Wow, that's a really interesting quote. Where is it found? It's incredible that such a blunt confession could be so completely overlooked.

8/07/2005 11:31 AM  
Blogger John Jackson said...

Stephen, it was nice of you to post your picture up on your blog. Just one question. Why'd you have to paint your face green?

8/07/2005 7:03 PM  
Blogger Stejahen said...

Amber, I'm not sure what the original source was, though I would love to know. I found it quoted here:
(at the bottom)

8/07/2005 7:35 PM  
Blogger John Jackson said...

I was just kidding about that you understand.

8/08/2005 6:25 AM  
Blogger Stejahen said...

Of course John. Funny thing is, that was actually one of his self-portraits!

8/09/2005 10:20 AM  

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