Earlier this week, a painting by Pablo Picasso (Women of Algiers), set a world record at auction. Some anonymous someone paid $179 million for it. Could you imagine the wine cellar you could create with $179 million?!? After I mostly got over the sticker shock (and a little bit of envy), I started wondering about Picasso, the man. Was he a wine drinker? He was a Spaniard who spent most of his adult life in Paris, so you’d think so. And while I’m almost sure he drank wine, his preferred muse was The Green Fairy, absinthe. I think that’s where I’ve been going wrong with Cubism. If I drank a glass or two of absinthe before I looked at Cubist paintings, they’d probably make perfect sense.
I tried to find a few of Picasso’s words about wine or absinthe, but failed. So this week, I’m going with the maxim, a picture is worth a thousand words:
This is Picasso’s Bottle and Wine Glass on a Table, 1912. It was part of a series of collages Picasso created with the same still life subjects. The medium is charcoal, ink, cut and pasted newspaper, and graphite on paper. And according to the Metropolitan Museum of Art:
Picasso subtly contrasts the political reality of the times against the carefree bohemian lifestyle of Parisian cafés. Picasso’s use of collaged newspaper also sets up a dichotomy between his artistic interpretation of objective reality and reality itself, making the lines between art and life even more ambiguous.
Right. That’s exactly what I was thinking.