Essay by Luke Foster
“If you give a meaning to certain things in my paintings it may be very true, but it is not my idea to give this meaning. What ideas and conclusions you have got I obtained too, but instinctively, unconsciously. I make the painting for the painting. I paint the objects for what they are.”
When I was a teenager, I bought a coffee table art book about Picasso and mainly about his paintings. When I dropped out of art school for a year, I had a garage sale as I was broke, and sold all my good books. I wish I hung onto it.
When I was around 12 my favourite Picasso paintings were the blue and rose period where he painted portraits in haunting hues of blue but it was his circus performers that were most striking.
What I liked about this period was that it showed what people’s emotions were behind their mask.
However, as I got older it was Picassos Guernica painting that had the biggest impact on me. Its perhaps the most important peace-making artwork in human history.
“Guernica (Spanish: [ɡeɾˈnika]; Basque: [ɡernika]) is a large 1937 oil painting by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. It is one of his best-known works, regarded by many art critics as the most moving and powerful anti-war painting in history. It is exhibited in the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid.”
“Peace is the fruit of love, a love that is also justice. But to grow in love requires work — hard work. And it can bring pain because it implies loss — loss of the certitudes, comforts, and hurts that shelter and define us.”
― Jean Vanier, Finding Peace