“The world today doesn’t make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do?” were sentiments stated by Pablo Picasso that reflected his thoughts on his work. Picasso was born in 1881 in Spain. He was a poor student but demonstrated a talent for art.This talent led to him becoming a pivotal artist in the era of Modern Art. Although he was admitted to the School of Fine Arts in Spain, he found this program to be too strict and left to roam the streets of Barcelona. Picasso, known throughout the world for various paintings and sculptures, experienced many different events in his life that shaped his artwork. He used his art as a way to express his feelings whether it be during the bleakest times of his life or more cheerful periods.

Picasso, with Braque, was known for his contribution to modern art, specifically analytical cubism. He was inspired by Cezanne’s flattened depiction of art began to express space in strongly geometrical terms. Cubism focuses on an experiment with structure as opposed to the expression of emotions. One of his most important works, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, which depicted five naked prostitutes in a brothel, was a prime example of cubism. The figures were composed of flat planes, the eyes were asymmetrical, and the space comes forward in jagged shards appearing fragmented. Cubism quickly moved into a new direction, synthetic cubism. This style reduced fragmentation, making the object more recognizable and less formal. Picasso began to incorporate objects of the real world into his paintings during this time. Guitar, Sheet Music and Glass was a key instance of this style. In this painting, he included wall paper, a page of sheet music, and a newspaper clipping into his painting introducing collages to the world. Picasso’s changing styles were often a reflection of what personal events he was encountering in his life.

Picasso had a significant influence on the art world from the start of his career, never staying focused on one idea or way of painting for too long. He remained a large part of the art world until his death at the age of ninety-one. Allowing the events of the world to have an impact on his paintings resulted in numerous different styles and subjects he portrayed. His Blue Period, painted after the suicide of a close friend, produced paintings that had a sense of mystery around them and depicted somber, destitute characters.This chapter quickly closed and gave way to the Rose Period. This drastic change, believed to be caused by Picasso falling in love, gave way to brighter colors and often centered on the lives of carnival people. Picasso’s ability to fluctuate between styles, subject matter, as well as his creation of cubism made him a fascinating artist.

Picasso had an enormous impact on Modern Art. He moved the art world toward a more abstract way of thinking and also introduced the idea of incorporating events in the world into paintings. His work was considered uplifting to many during some of the bleakest events in history offering hope for the future, while showing the shocking proceeding going on in the world.

Self Portrait Pablo Picasso