Pablo Picasso's Art of Painting Essay Sample
Throughout human history, the use of art to communicate has been used by every culture around the world. From the Aztecs to the Chinese, the native Americans to the tribe of South Africa, the use of art has played a major role in their culture, beliefs, as well as the artists thoughts. An excellent example of this is the artist, Pablo Picasso is known for putting his thoughts and emotions into his works such as the ‘The Old Guitarist’. The use of his emotions and thought in his works has created distinct variations in his art, allowing his Picasso’s art to tracked and labeled into such periods as his most famous and recognizable time periods, the Blue Period.
Art has always given clues on the mental state of the artist, Picasso is no exception. During the early 1900’s, Pablo Picasso suffered from a great loss, the death of his close friend Casagemas, that would tinge his works until 1904. Driven by this “…time of poverty and personal depression…” (DeWitte et al., 103), Picasso decided to adopt “a predominantly blue palette and shed his motifs of their earlier sardonic social vision” (McQuillan) and began to focus “on outcasts, beggars and invalided prostitutes, the latter based on observations made at the prison of St Lazare in Paris” (McQuillan). The Old Guitarist, made during this period, used this telltale monochromatic blue that would become a popular use of Picasso, focusing on “(t)he colors...” that encouraged “...a sad and somber mood. (DeWitte et al., 103) within his early works. To the common art gallery visitor, the emotions can be said to be sad or even devastating, but to Carl Gustav Jung, the Blue Period was nothing less than “…a descent into hell...” (Charles et al. 48).
Ask an anyone who has gone through personal tragedy, one’s mind can become a jumbled mess, causing indecision in the person affected. Picasso was no stranger to this, frequently taking use of oil paints ability to be scraped off, redoing his work and changing it to a work that better suits his thoughts at the time. In such works as ‘Self-Portrait’, Picasso, driven by grief and loss adapted his own self-portrait to become the face of his friend. Through the use of X-rays, the residues of the past paintings can be seen and can give the paintings that they are under a deeper meaning or different meaning altogether. Picasso had no qualms about changing things during the painting process,” (Laboratory Equipment), leading him to change his works no matter how far along he was. This can also be seen in ‘The Old Guitarist’, a partial painting of a naked woman can be seen giving the despaired old man a different reason for his decrepit state. This also play’s off of Picasso’s own loss though indirectly.
These subtle changes and the events that caused them, show us a brief insight on just how the loss of a dear friend, a loved one, can affect one’s psyche. Faced with these emotions, Pablo Picasso chose to use his talents as an artist to put his anguish into works of art that share the pain, as well as the pain of those depicted in his paintings, with all those who view them. Humanity has long made these art depicting their emotions, but few have been able to capture the essence of these emotions in their works. Picasso and others like him have been able to capture this essence for all to see. Though the Blue Period was a relatively short one, the lasting legacy of a mourning artist has been forever recorded so that future generations who gaze upon the works can know this same pain.