Saturday 25 October 2008


It's Pablo Picasso's birthday - 127 today, and still up there around the top of the modern art pantheon. Personally, I have never since adolescence been a huge fan. There's an offputting stridency, a Spanish macho swagger, about so much of his work, and even the most besotted idoliser would have to admit that he spent too many years churning out bad and ugly stuff for money. A colossal talent put to some very dubious uses, it seems to me. The Picasso/Matisse exhibition that came to Tate Modern a few years ago made it, I thought, almost embarrassingly obvious who was the greater artist - though perhaps that is still a minority view...
Talking of birthdays, yesterday was Bill Wyman's. It was - brace yourselves - his 72nd. How old does that make you feel?


  1. A visit to the Picasso museum in Paris says it all, from the sublime to the ridiculous, in later life I suspect he was employed by Prontoprint.
    So, old Willie's 72, dare I say it makes us feel old?
    Reminiscing last week we remembered a pub on Blackheath common in the mid sixties and the resident group.. Manfred Man with Paul Jones, ooh wah diddy diddy.
    The era of the denim shirt.

  2. Very few paintings have ellicited as strong an emotional response from me as Weeping Woman. Perhaps Picasso's role as my gateway painter into the world of modernist art explains the continued enthusiasm I have for his work. Judge him by his best work and applaud him for his 'entrepeneurial' later years I say.