“Picasso’s sure a weird one!”: a poem and some pictures / “¡Este Picasso es un caso!”: un poema y unas pinturasPosted: May 1, 2012
May 1st 2012 sees an awesome Picasso exhibition from Le Musée National Picasso in Paris opening here in Toronto, Canada…
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) was born in Málaga, Spain, and by the end of his teens was already an energetic and talented imitator of all the “fin-de-siècle” painting styles then current in Europe.
He made his first trip to Paris in 1900, and moved to the city – the centre of the art world – in 1902. It was the right place at the right time. Two crucial events occurred when he was in his mid-twenties. First – he met Gertrude Stein – a wealthy young American art collector who bought his paintings and championed him to everyone in her circle. And second – Picasso visited the Musée d’Ethnographie du Trocadéro where he saw masks and sculpture from Oceania and Africa. Highly stylized, these “primitive” artworks, unlike anything else Picasso had ever seen, were to make a forceful impression on his restless artistic sensibilities. The innovative effect of his “quick study” of Oceanic and African art was soon seen in his 1907 painting, “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon”. In this one canvas Picasso broke with 19th-century European art traditions and, along with a handful of his contemporaries, brought Western painting into the 20th century.
And yet – time and again – he would return to a theme straight out of the Classical Academies – that is: The Artist and The Model, or, for Picasso, The Artist and His Model.
Picasso’s lust and egomania are well documented in their vigour and even ugliness. Yet in his prolific artwork, spanning 75 years, he shows his undeniable energy for Life – all of Life…the subtle, the tender, the brutal and raw.
Famously, as an old man, he stated: “When I was young I could draw like Raphael, but it has taken me my whole life to learn to draw like a child.”
We feature here a light-hearted poem by Spanish children’s writer, Carlos Reviejo (born 1942), entitled “¡Este Picasso es un caso!” (Picasso’s sure a weird one!) – along with a selection of Pablo Picasso’s paintings and prints.
“¡Este Picasso es un caso!”
¡Qué divertido es Picasso!
Es pintor rompecabezas
que al cuerpo rompe en mil piezas
y pone el rostro en los pies.
¡Todo lo pinta al revés!
¡Este Picasso es un caso!
Es un puro disparate.
No es que te hiera o te mate,
pero en lugar de dos cejas
él te pone dos orejas.
¡Vaya caso el de Picasso!
Te deja que es una pena: te trastoca y desordena,
te pone pies en las manos
y en vez de dedos, gusanos.
¡Si es que Picasso es un caso!
En la boca pone un ojo,
y te lo pinta de rojo.
Si se trata de un bigote,
te lo pondrá en el cogote.
¡Menudo caso es Picasso!
¿Eso es hombre o bicicleta?
¡Si es que ya nada respeta….!
Esos ojos que tú dices,
no son ojos…¡son narices!
¿No es un caso este Picasso?
Todo lo tuerce y disloca:
las piernas, brazos y boca.
No es verdad lo que tu ves.
¡Él pinta el mundo al revés!
¡Qué Picasso es este caso!
“Picasso’s sure a weird one!”
A funny one, that Picasso!
A puzzling painter
who breaks a body into a thousand pieces
and puts the face where the feet should be.
He paints everything upside-down!
This Picasso’s a nutty one,
It’s not that he might wound or kill you,
no, but in place of your eyebrows
he gives you ears.
A pity how he leaves you:
altered, a mess –
feet for hands
and worms for fingers.
Yes, Picasso’s a weird one!
In your mouth he puts an eye
and he paints it red.
When it’s all about the mustache,
well, he’ll place it on your neck.
What a case, that Picasso!
Here – is this a man…or a bicycle?
True, he respects nothing!
These eyes you said were eyes – ?
Picasso’s a real head-case, isn’t he?
He twists and dislocates everything:
legs, arms, and mouth.
What you see is not for real.
He paints our world upside-down!
Yes, Picasso’s sure a weird one!
Spanish-to-English translation/interpretation: Alexander Best