Tuesday, 12 May 2015

PICASSO - "Women of Algiers" version 0 - WHY SPEND $179 MILLION ON THIS?

Pablo Picasso

This painting has just achieved 179.4 Million dollars at auction. It was originally sold in 1956 for 212,500, which at the time was a huge price. Picasso was certainly a legend in his own time.

Follow the title link to wikepedia to see the original work by Eugene Delacroix that inspired the piece. If you look carefully, you can see all the elements are there in the 1834 painting, but they have been consumed by Picasso and reinvented using his own style. The black object on the right makes no sense until you look at the original. The center of interest has completely shifted to the left and is now highly sexually charged. What was once a languid comment on prostitutes escaping to the charms of the hookah, has now become a bevy of promiscuous women presenting their naked bodies enticingly and shamelessly to the viewer. Picasso's nature shines through and the demure fully clad ladies of 1834 have all become Picasso's naked mistresses.

Like all Picasso's work, on first glance you wonder why it inspires such excitement, but on further study it slowly starts to reveal it's mastery. His paintings will never hang in a dark corner and gather dust, they yell out for attention and continue to fascinate on every re-acquaintance. This is the mandate of a great work of art, and as artists we should continuously strive for that in our own work. A landscape should never be just a landscape, a vase of flowers never purely a still life.

I was curious about the size, which is just under 4 feet x 6 feet. By my calculation, that's 71,530 per square inch. I understand why five people were bidding furiously for this work, because the value has risen by over $147 million since 1997. A cool way to make $7 million a year by just enjoying art on your wall! Perhaps, as many millionaires believe, great art is one of the best investments possible in these financially troubled times.

However, I believe that great art offers more than financial gain. Art is inspiring and exciting to behold. Fill your home and workplace with art and it will bring more enjoyment than any bank balance, stocks, shares or commercial enterprise.

I believe that you become what surrounds you, which is constantly feeding subliminal messages to your subconscious. Therefore, select art which makes your heart sing. Many artists are currently selling their work far below value in order to make a living, so when the economy turns around investors will surely benefit from purchasing from their favourite artist now.

Please leave your thoughts and feedback in comments. I love to hear from my readers.

This got me thinking of my own neo art and so I am now showing one of my favourite paintings from last year in my online gallery. Like Picasso, this reveals itself slowly to the viewer. The yellowing on the bottom was caused by lighting and is pure white in the original.

by Sea and Charlotte Dean
12" x 12" Wrap Canvas

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