Wednesday, October 14, 2009




Picasso, Mandolin and Guitar, 1924. Oil with sand on canvas, 55 3/8 x 78 7/8 inches. Guggenheim Museum, NY.

The painting has always annoyed me; predicting the future a la Jules Verne, but instead of a submarine we get a surprisingly accurate portrait of the artist as an old man, 40 years ahead. And I've never been a fan of Arcimboldo.
It was part of the template for cartoons from the late 50's and early 60's, Warner Bros. and Disney -cubist and surrealist design motifs- through many others, including Dufy and Ludwig Bemelmans. Look at the window and the door on the right: the flat shadows and light. In the flatness of a reproduction it's easier to see. None of this makes it any better, any less contrived or over-determined.
Actually I've always hated this fucking painting. It's Pop without irony.

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