Friday, June 02, 2006

Picasso On Picasso

Here is a statement that Picasso made about his own art, which applies to most modernist art:

In art the mass of people no longer seeks consolation and exaltation, but those who are refined, rich, unoccupied, who are distillers of quintessences, seek what is new, strange, original, extravagant, scandalous. I myself, since Cubism and before, have satisfied these masters and critics with all the changing oddities which passed through my head, and the less they understood me, the more they admired me. By amusing myself with all these games, with all these absurdities, puzzles, rebuses, arabesques, I became famous, and that very quickly. And fame for a painter means sales, gains, fortune, riches. And today, as you know, I am celebrated, I am rich. But when I am alone with myself, I have not the courage to think of myself as an artist in the great and ancient sense of the term. Giotto, Titian, Rembrandt were great painters. I am only a public entertainer who has understood his times and exploited as best he could the imbecility, the vanity, the cupidity of his contemporaries. Mine is a bitter confession, more painful than it may appear, but it has the merit of being sincere."

from an interview with Picasso in Il Libro Nero by Giovanni Papini (1951), translated in Robertson Davies, What's Bred in the Bone (New York, Penguin, 1986 ) pp. 406-407.


2 Comments:

Blogger adi said...

i am just reading "WATH'S BRED IN THE BONE"and checking if there is any truth in this comment by picasso, it seems that most of the interviews in EL LIBRO NERO" are imaginary so its not sure that picasso said what is attributed to him

10:23 AM  
Blogger Simon S. Andrews said...

sorry dude, fictitious interview... ah the internet!!

7:44 PM  

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