An Uninformed Take on Picasso and Surrealism

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Reclining Woman Reading (Femme Couchee Lisant), 1960

A week ago I had the pleasure of viewing the Vancouver Art Gallery’s exhibit Pablo Picasso: The Artist and His Muses. My art history background is minimal, so pardon my ignorance when speaking of it. One thing I did learn from my past studies of art is this: we can ponder and decipher works of art at exhaustive length, but what you take from art is what matters most. While I do love and appreciate the curator notes that accompany art, I often find they take away from the experience of the piece itself. Halfway through the Picasso exhibit I stopped reading the notes altogether and simply observed the paintings, and what I found is that art cannot be limited to a paragraph, it needs to speak for itself. I wandered around the gallery, offering each piece a gaze until something grasped my attention. Picasso’s work in Surrealism pulled me into a form of art that lacks limitation and stretches the constraints of reason. For an over-thinker such as myself, a style of art that is absent of control and perfectionism is to be exalted.

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The Weeping Woman, 1937

 

Picasso defies the geometrics of the corpus of man; the boundaries of even the most definite biological truths are pushed with paintings such as The Weeping Woman (Picasso, Pablo. 1937). You experience the face of the muse from various perspectives simultaneously, from either side and the centre at once. Although to the rational mind this painting depicts impossibility and therefore a falsehood, it speaks of a truth louder than the most perfect depiction of a woman could. By capturing various perspectives, you experience the anguish and sadness of the muse from all angles at once, thus being drawn more deeply into Picasso’s own intentions. He successfully forgoes what we know to be aesthetically so, and speaks to a truth that is deeper than reason. It’s like art for the soul.

Picasso has awakened my creative soul that was in a deep slumber for a few months. He reminded me that true art cannot be limited to my own controlling thoughts and what is known to be societally accepted. You must stretch the boundaries of what you thought possible. In art, perfection is not the goal, truth is; and within truth lay beauty.

 

Featured image: The Kiss. Picasso, Pablo. 1969.

 

Edit: I’d like to concede that I was wrong in referring to the above mentioned art as Surrealism, when it is in fact Cubism. Thank you to the blogger Audrey for kindly pointing that out! Although Cubism inspired the Surrealist movement, it was wrong to group them together. I still stand by everything else I said about Picasso, his art and the influence it had on me :).

 

 

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Red-Eye

There is no greater sorrow than to recall our times of joy in wretchedness. – Dante Alighieri, Inferno

Have you ever been on a red-eye flight,

With your mind racing faster than the speed of light?

Thoughts pinging against the windshield of your head,

Corruption, lies, deceit- it all seems so clear.

Yet we remain complaisant,

It isn’t alright.

I am splitting at the seams-

When innocent men are shot dead in the streets you used to walk,

And the real criminals are the ones on the ballot.

As we watch it unfold, the horror is muffled by the screen it’s received on,

It’s like a really bad reality TV show-

Wake up America,

This is your reality now.

When it’s your turn to speak to the camera- what will you say?

Will you share yet another photo of clothes or shoes,

Get lost in the mindless celebrity feuds,

Or will you stand up and fucking say something?

But it’s easy to be a social justice warrior at 5 am and with 37,000 ft beneath me,

With a birds-eye view of what the earth once was, not what its become.

Let us revert to what matters most-

Not the things, but the people and places.

Because a life void of materialism is a life of fulfillment-

And a life void of experiences and people to share them with,

Isn’t a life worth living.

 

 

 

 

Embrace Your Face!

Wear your makeup, don’t let your makeup wear you.

Up until just a couple of months ago, I rarely left the house without at least a touch of makeup on. My biggest insecurity being my skin. Before leaving the house I had to at the very least layer on some foundation and mascara. I just didn’t feel myself without it.

It had gotten to a point where I no longer recognized myself without makeup. I didn’t think I was beautiful unless I was dolled up. I was scared for people to see the face underneath the veil.

Then, a couple of months ago- I reached my breaking point.

I had just started my current job and it was more fast-paced and physically demanding than I was used to. I’d wake up around 6 am to get ready for the day, most of the time consumed with a full-face makeup application. I’d spend the days run off my feet: stocking paper and other office supplies, collecting and distributing mail, and tending to the many (many) needs of a busy establishment. By the time I’d get back home around 5:30, my skin would be crawling with the urge to scrub all of my sweaty makeup off. It felt so extremely uncomfortable to have layers of foundation on my skin after an active day. The relief of taking my makeup off after work was unparalleled. To top it off, my skin underneath the mask was angrier than ever. I’ve always dealt with acne, but it had become much more persistent and painful due to the amount of makeup I was wearing and the activity I was doing while wearing it.

The thing that used to make me feel beautiful was literally becoming a pain in my face.

That’s when I decided to dramatically lessen the amount of makeup I wore to work. I eliminated all skin products from the equation. Mascara and an eyebrow pencil became my  go-to tools.

The first few days were the hardest. I was worried people would notice and somehow allude to the fact that I didn’t look like myself. Would anyone even recognize me without my facial facade?

But guess what?

No one said anything. No one noticed.

And over time, after a couple weeks of adjusting to and embracing my new-bare face, I started to even prefer it. I hadn’t preferred myself without makeup in, well, ever.

Now, two months later, I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve worn foundation. Not to say that there’s anything wrong with wearing makeup, or even wearing it everyday. Makeup should be fun, it truly is an art and it’s fun to create beautiful makeup looks. Wear as much or as little makeup as you want, but be mindful of it. Don’t wear it because you think you can’t go without it. I promise, you can. You are beautiful just as you are. If anyone makes you feel any lesser because you’re not wearing makeup, reconsider the worth of that person.

Embrace your face. Love yourself, love your skin, accept and embrace your flaws.

Photo on 2016-06-02 at 19.32 #2
Me today- sharing my bare face, flaws and all, with the world. Embrace your face!