June 21, 2016

Picasso's Garden

        June is bustin’ out all over, and I’ve been busy watering my real plants and sketching some art plants.  So here’s a funny plant by Pablo Picasso.  It looks like a reduction block print, although it could also be done with two blocks, but either way it’s got very little detail.  It has the look of a sketch or doodle more than a planned and polished piece.  Note, too, the dates in the upper corner, which are backwards.  Obviously Picasso didn’t plan these numbers, but carved straight into the block without remembering to work in reverse.  The printing, on the other hand, done by a professional printer rather than Picasso himself, is quite meticulous, richly black and perfectly registered.
        Pablo, Pablo, how does your garden grow?  I don’t know why these little bulls are climbing around on the flower stems like prancing caterpillars.  Picasso uses bulls frequently in his art, often to represent himself, but I won’t attempt a psychoanalysis here.  I simply enjoy the incongruity of the fierce, macho beasts transformed into cute little critters on the garden flowers.

[Picture: Plant with Little Bulls, linoleum cut by Pablo Picasso, 1959-60 (Image from The Met).]

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