I went to this exhibition, but didn't really enjoy it, for a number of reasons.
I wonder how many people go to these kinds of events because they are truly interested, and how many go because they think they should be interested, or because it is culturally good for them, an equivalent of eating their vegetables? Or because it is a socially acceptable outing for women of a certain age?
Every time I see the celebration of a major male artist I wonder about the women who made his food and washed his clothes. In the case of Picasso there was a series of women to renew his spirits and share the work. He painted them. They took care of him and his children. I wonder if he ever made his own sandwich or interacted with his own children. It feeds into the ideal of the artist as someone with no care responsibilities, and expendable relationships. The kind of artist that mothers just can't be. The kind of ideal that mother artists, in any artform, rally against.
I was just as interested in watching the people at the Art Gallery as I was in the exhibits. Perhaps more so. People are interesting. My main thought at Picasso's works was this:considering he could draw so well at a young age, and do any type of art he liked, why was he not interested in conventional beauty? Why did he not use his talents to add to the beauty of the world? And yes, I understand he was creating new forms and commenting on his world, and that world is not always beautiful, but that was my thought. If you could create beauty, why wouldn't you?
I was more interested in the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat, after seeing the doco on tv that same week I attended the Picasso exhibition. But perhaps Jean-Michel Basquiat could not have done the work he did without Picasso.