Shocking Colors

 

Pablo Picasso, Three Musicians, 1921.

The status quo is comfortable and people tend to gravitate toward what they understand and can logically get their head around.  Change can be scary and pulls into question “What will happen now?”  Change in politics or society can effect people’s lives in often dramatic ways.  I understand the reluctance in these areas.  Serious decisions are made everyday that effect all of us.

Art in all of it’s forms inspires me and I’m not at all threatened by change or revolutionary expression.  From Mozart to Mapplethorpe’s Christ in Piss, I find art that pushes the envelope and makes people think a wonderful part of the human experience. It causes people to interact, good and bad.

Katlyn had a research paper for her Art History class on Picasso’s Three Musicians. Picasso was a brilliant, funny and controversial figure during his life and continues to be in death.  He turned the art world on its head, quite literally, and changed the way people saw art.  He was one of the founders of Cubism, an art movement that challenged the classical masters of the day.  Cubism was considered intellectual art and while I am in awe of the Masters, I love Picasso.

Katlyn chose this painting to write her paper on because she saw it in the Museum of Modern Art when we were in New York.  It was her favorite and Picasso spoke to her. As a parent, that warms my heart.  She sees nothing controversial, just a fun way to look at things and she gets a real kick out of the dog that’s in three different pieces.

Obviously it’s a different time and as a society we have accepted Picasso’s wackiness as genius.  Art allows for that testing ground of discovery and in most cases appreciation.  It’s safe and if you don’t like it you can look away or you can be offended and rant or rave about it.  No one gets hurt and I’m all for it.

I’ve never understood people that burn books or are afraid to let their children listen to certain types of music.  People have written horrible things about Robert Mapplethorpe because he dared to take a photograph of a crucifix in yellow liquid. While alot of his work is not my taste, he is entitled to put it out there.

Why are people so threatened by this, but perfectly comfortable letting our government bomb the crap out of Iraq in the name of 9/11?  Mapplelthorpe’s work isn’t hurting anyone, most definitely offending, but not changing people’s lives.  I’m always amazed at the things people get so worked up over and yet monumental issues seem to take a back seat to who’s being eliminated on American Idol.

Parents that blame a suicide or deviant behavior on a heavy metal band or a passage from a book.  Art’s not that serious, it’s not supposed to be.  It’s meant to stir and shout, push buttons or incite emotion, but it can not make someone hurt themselves or cause a war.  Those are human things we do to ourselves.

As a parent, I worry more about what we do to each other and our environment than what influence Picasso, or any other artist, may have over my daughter.  If you really believe Catcher in the Rye is the reason John Lennon is dead than I feel incredibly sorry for you.

Art creates discussion and so much can be learned from discussion.  My thoughts from the laundry room.

Kick Off the Covers!

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