This week (Tuesday, December 4th and Thursday, December 6th)
Toros en Vallauris 1955 – 1955 – Pablo Picasso
Ladies and gentlemen, bulls. Ladies and gentlemen, people. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, Ladies and gentlemen, please have your seats. Now presenting, los bulls. I give you, a round space.
Now, a place to sit. Please, have your seats.
In this corner, bull! And now! Ladies and gentlemen! En Vallauris, aqui esta! Ladies and gentlemen, man and woman.
I give you: the man, the bull. I give you what you asked for. I shall not paint it any other way. There is no way out. There is no way out.
Head of a Man – 1865 – Paul Cézanne
Somewhere, someone’s heart is emancipated. You wouldn’t know it by looking at this man.
The war has been over in France for a very long time. Our American brothers are just finishing theirs. It was never necessary to see things clearly, the head of a man is only the head of a man because it isn’t so precise.
You can’t paint a perfect thing. If you do, you ruin it.
To paint a thing for what it is, is a myth.
A still life is a myth.
It is like someone standing in front of the battle, explaining how the guns and cannons are going off, how the swords are pulled from their sheathes, how the battery proceeds, how the dead are wounded, why the fighting started in the first place.
There’s a need for things to be cloudy and unclear or else we will never try to make sense of them.
Man Holding a Flute – 1560-65 – Titian (Tiziano Vecellio)
Hold it low so it is not the first thing they see. Turn the lamp the other way. Don’t let them see the jaundice in the face.
Drape the darkest drape behind you and sit down. Hold the flute low so they take you modestly. If they ask you play it, resist. Don’t smile at them. Hold it back.
Be sure to keep the light from shining too much or else they will not miss you when you are gone. When you leave, do not ask for anything. Leave them with the impression that you are aware there is very little time left to live – that all you ever needed was the flute, a little light, a jar of wine, a little yellow light.
Don’t ask for anything but a bit more light.