The Ethical Nude

“Picasso did not paint for the eyes but for the gut. He painted for the gut that the eyes might be opened.”

One only has to compare a portrait of Picasso’s wife to that of one his lovers to prove that his strange perspective on reality worked from the inside out. What we feel as we observe his works is what he feels about his subjects as he paints them. The spirit and desire which animate man and beast not only move flesh but, in Picasso’s world, distort reality. Time and history without fail reveal the true character of objects, people and ideologies. A Picasso is often the exterior of a person or event shaped or distorted by the spirit and emotion within. It is a history in a single frame, an X ray that discovers not the bones but the heart. Emotional reality is revealed in shape and color. In these cases, his subjects are possibly “ethical nudes.”

This post has been slain and resurrected for inclusion in my 2015 book of essays, Inquietude.

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