When I met my husband many, many years ago, he gave me his precious copy of the poems of Rainer Maria Rilke. It was his way of “testing me,” checking to see if I was “wife material.” Anyhow, I was less than impressed with Rilke (although I wouldn’t dare tell him!) until I decided to try to read his work in the original German. Not that I could read German, but I knew enough to be able to sound the poems out. That’s when I realized how good Rilke was; like many poets (and writers), he probably got “lost in translation.”
|Connected Mona Lisas (Picasso style)|
Oil on Canvas 30"x40"
Have you ever seen a finished picture? To finish a work? What nonsense! To finish it means to be through with it, to kill it, to rid it of its soul.
No, one doesn’t stop by oneself. You work and behind you stands somebody who is not a professional and it is he who makes the decisions.
Everyone wants to understand art. Why does one love the night, flowers, everything around one, without trying to understand them? But in the case of a painting people have to understand it. Gertrude Stein joyfully announced to me the other day that she had at last understood what my picture of the three musicians was meant to be. It was a still life.
Cubist Self Portrait
Oil on Canvas 38"x24"
Success is dangerous. One begins to copy oneself. And to try to copy oneself is more dangerous than to copy others. To make oneself hated is more difficult than to make oneself loved.
Photography has arrived at a point where it is capable of liberating painting from all literature, from the anecdote and even from the subject. So shouldn’t painters profit from their newly acquired liberty, and make use of it to do other things?
In art intentions are not sufficient and, as we say in Spanish: love must be proved by facts not by reasons. What one does is what counts and not what one had the intention of doing.
Museums are just a lot of lies, and the people who make art their business are mostly imposters.
Oil Sketch on Canvas 40"x48"
And my favorite (an explanation of a sketch on wrapping paper for a cut-metal sculpture):
It’s a chair, and you see that it is an explanation of cubism! Imagine a chair passed under the rollers of a compressor; it would turn out just about like that.
Anyhow, the best part of my little book on Picasso aren’t his quotes but his drawings. Since they’re probably copyrighted, I didn’t want to use them so I rummaged through a couple of my old portfolios for some suitable drawings and damned if everything I ever did didn’t have a touch of Picasso in it!
As a friend of mine used to say (unoriginally): "If you're going to steal, steal from the best."