Thursday, August 5, 2010

Picasso Satisfied the Rich with Odd & Absurd Art

There are those that agree with Picasso and believe the modern art movement was a swift trick to make money. I believe most of it was, but not all of it. In the end art is worth what someone is willing to pay. From the start of the modern art movement the rich were willing to spend a lot of money for strange abstract art they could not understand. It was and still is an investment, and if their artist reached celebrity status it was a good one. In Pablo Picasso's very words, it's clear he sold very odd artworks to satisfy people's desire for it because he liked being celebrated and rich. Does that make Picasso a bit of a sell out?

In his book Libro Nero, Giovanni Papini, quotes Picasso. On the subject of his own "modern art" Picasso said:
"From the moment that art ceases to be food that feeds the best minds, the artist can use his talents to perform all the tricks of the intellectual charlatan. Most people can today no longer look for consolation and exhilaration in art. The cunning, the rich, the idle, and the distillers of quintessences, want the new, the strange, the original, the extravagant, and the scandalous. I, from cubism onwards, have satisfied these gentlemen and their critics, with all the changing oddities that have come into my head. The less they understood, the more they admired me. Through amusing myself with all these absurd farces, I became celebrated, and very rapidly. For a painter, celebrity means sales, and consequently affluence. Today as you know, I am celebrated, I am rich."

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