Friday, August 12, 2011

Picasso and Breasts

Last week I spoke of finding the right bra because my favorite one was no longer manufactured. Though no one wrote a comment many friends shared their experience with the same problem. At my gym we have a wonderful new pilates teacher from Russia, Yulia. She's forever instructing us to tighten our tummies on which we balance an imaginary glass of water and then on the next movement to spill the water on our chests. I'm imagining what its like to have a soggy bra and since mine are old and ill fitting would they slide right off? Fascination with women's upper anatomy is normal in France and not limited to teenage boys. French clothing is softly fitted at women's waists and breast line to outline the torso, big or small. Thus it was normal for me to find this seductive bra shop only a few feet from the sausages and cheese on market day in a small town in Provence.
An interest in art and painting came to me late in life. Not so with most of the masters. According to his mother, Picasso's first words were "piz, piz" a shortening of the Spanish word lapiz for pencil.
After viewing the exhibit at the
De Young in Saan Francisco this week with friend Jan Matsuoka I left confused about his passions: creativity of expression or women's breasts. Maybe they are not so far apart?
Although Spanish by birth Pablo spent most of his life in France. When Jan Hagen and I visited the Picasso museum in Paris a few years ago I came away with his understanding of contempt for corrupt governments and how this influenced his art. But in the San Francisco presentation the emphasis seemed to be on his wives and many mistresses and secret lover's trysts.
Almost every painting seemed to draw obvious or subtle depictions of women's breasts. His famous blue and pastel periods were attributed to the nature of his sexual passions in the moment. I found this most curious. Which was the greater influence on his art: terrorism or testosterone?
Driving home I commented to Jan "Now I know what's wrong with our personal paintings. We need to go out and have some wild sex orgies in order for our work to improve."
Following lunch we soothed our passions and sublimated our fantasies with rich chocolate ice cream and blueberry sorbet. A delicious substitute.

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