Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I have finally unlocked the secret to Cubism.

All it entails? A wedding anniversary, a couple glasses of champagne, and a face.

I’ve always been a fan of Cubism and of its founder, Pablo Picasso.

Picasso, Self Portrait, 1907

Last year Mistah Schleckah and I had the incredible good luck to dog-sit for little Kobe-dog on Manhattan’s Upper West side.


We had a gorgeous apartment with a view of Riverside Park and the Hudson River and New Jersey, a great bed and window seats in the living room and bedroom, my sister right around the corner, and free passes to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Natural History, and the Museum of Modern Art. We felt like we’d won the sweepstakes.

I spent a lot of time in the Met and the Moma that week. I spent hours staring at my guys’ work on the walls. It brought back, immediately and viscerally, the hours and hours of smart professors and great art history courses throughout college.

New York City has some kick-ass museums, and it's got a lot of Picasso hanging on the walls of those museums. And you can take photos.

This is “Seated Bather,” early 1930.

The website WebMuseum, Paris explains:

“After Cubism, the world never looked the same again. The Spaniard Pablo Picasso and the Frenchman Georges Braque splintered the visual world not wantonly, but sensuously and beautifully with their new art.

“They provided what we could almost call a God's-eye view of reality: every aspect of the whole subject, seen simultaneously in a single dimension.”

This is “Girl in Front of ‘Three Musicians’, summer 1921.” Okay, that’s what our photo is called. But you get the picture.

“The artists chose to break down the subjects they were painting into a number of facets, showing several different aspects of one object simultaneously.”

And this, of course, is the granddaddy of them all, “Les Demoiselles d'Avignon,” June-July 1907.

I had never really understood, however, where Picasso got that spark -- why he felt that urge to “show several aspects of one object simultaneously”.

Until Friday.

It was our wedding anniversary (sixteen yeeeeeeears of bliss). So we had champagne. Natch.

Isn’t it cool how the vertical posts of the deck are reflected in the smooth glass of the flutes?
We raised our glasses for a toast, and . . .
. . . POW.

We saw it. Just like ol' Pablo had.

“Several aspects of one object simultaneously, in a single dimension.” Cubism, illuminated.

¡Salud, Señor Picasso!


Anonymous said...

Happy anniversary! 1992 was a *great* year to get married.

I never did like Picasso much, until we were in Barcelona and went to a small museum that had lots of his early stuff -- the "classically drawn" stuff. Once I knew he actually could draw representational stuff, then I was willing to really look at his cubism (it wasn't just that he couldn't draw).

And -- wow! -- cubism in champagne flutes.

Nancy said...

Happy [Cubism] Anniversary!

LOVE the way those photos turned out.

Anonymous said...

OOOooooOOOOoooohhhhh.....very cool. So you're saying Picasso was a drunk?

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Way cool, Ellie! Funny, after reading your intro and having knowledge of how you were feeling on your post anniverary day, I imagined that the cubism would be represented in what you were seeing rather than how you were seen.


Me, You, or Ellie said...

Kick ass photos, Ellie. That was one cool post, sistah! I loved it -- but it made me want to bust in on your private party for two...ya know, drink a little of that cubic champane on your back porch myself.



Unknown said...

Happy anniversary! Now get out and paint.

Captain Dumbass said...

That was pretty impressive. I've been to that little museum in Barcelona too. It was awesome. Happy Anniversary!

NucMEd is Hot said...

You kill me with the pictures. I ove the MOMA

Kat said...

Happy Anniversary. You did Pablo proud with that photo!

Unknown said...

ima be honest i didnt get past 'Manhattan’s Upper West side' can i come visit?
Great pics!

nicole antoinette said...

I love this; you're so clever.