Inspired by “Steal Like an Artist,” I decided to steal from Picasso. Steal meaning taking the old work to a new place, see my “Woman and Laptop.”
In fact, Picasso embodies his famous quote, “Bad artists copy. Great artists steal,” as he did steal ideas from his colleague, Georges Braque (a major 20th century French painter and sculptor who, along with Picasso, developed the art style known as Cubism). While Picasso is best known for establishing Cubism, Braque is hardly recognized. However, Picasso was much more of a prolific painter than Braque, so Picasso would work through a concept that Braque had come up with much faster than Braque himself. For instance, Georges Braque was the first one to begin using fake wood pattern or what is called faux-bois that was so crucial in the development of cubism, but it was Picasso who used it to attribute a different meaning to the pattern and further the idea of cubism. Later, the influence of Iberian sculpture became an issue in 1939, where Picasso insisted that the Les Demoiselles d‘Avignon (The Young Ladies of Avignon, and originally titled The Brothel of Avignon), owed nothing to African art. Nevertheless, he is known to have seen and owned African tribal masks while working on the painting. So it is undeniable that Picasso was an opportunistic artist. In contemporary terms, Picasso appropriated art, to say the least.
Picasso’s prolific work is currently being exhibited at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) until August 2012. From my visit to Picasso’s exhibition, I recognize how prolific he was. One thing to keep in mind is that Picasso’s work–good or bad–didn’t matter, what matter most is that Picasso kept making art passionately.