Tag Archives: Humor

Vaccinate against fear of Picasso

We all know Picasso was a genius who was not just practicing, but creating “isms”; who was not teaching, but inspiring artists; and whose single painting could feed half the kids in Africa if US billionaires and Qatari sheikhs who buy and sell the stuff would give their Picasso money to charities.

Then we look at some of his paintings and feel we don’t want to be asking ourselves the basic question of why Picasso is great or inspiring. Because we don’t always know the answer, or suspect we may not like it once we get enlightened.

Shall we be afraid of Picasso’s bizarre works, like this one? Not any more, if you get vaccinated by a healthy dose of cynicism. Roll up your sleeve, you won’t feel the stab.

IMG_0995 - копия (3)

It is, surely, a naked woman. An art historian would readily provide you with her name, her date of birth, and the year of her first intercourse with Picasso. Is it important? Only if you are contemplating a career in time-travel and mental help to sexually overheated geniuses.

Forget art history, trust your instincts.

What, if anything, is great about this painting?

If you take a girl, put her on a blue towel on a public beach in a pose like that, and have her photographed, you’d get banned from the beach, possibly arrested for indecent behaviour, and most likely sued by the girl after the paramedics help her untwine her limbs with massive injections of muscle relaxant.

But if you paint her surrealistically you become a prophet and a genius. Why?

For three main reasons.

1. She is one with the elements

  • Her towel is both a towel and the sea
  • The sky is also the sand and earth.
  • Her body is the green of life but also the colour that you get when mixing yellow and blue which stand for the different elements in this painting
  • The elements penetrate her and she penetrates the elements (just an example):


  • Parts of her body resemble some of the major elements:

fragment2_1Why is it important that she’s one with the elements?

Do I really need to explain this? For the same reason Venus was born out of sea foam, and Eve was created from Adam’s rib. For the same reason men avoid meeting their girlfriend’s parents before they get steeped in marriage plans. Love and beauty must be god-given, just like the elements. It is very difficult to really fall in love with the product of someone else’s love-making. Meeting the mother-vagina and father-phallus prematurely is a death blow to a budding relationship.

There is another theory which states that a promiscuous man’s best defense is a claim that he is attracted to women at the primeval, elemental level, like a flower that is attracted to the sun or a fish that finds it difficult to stay away from water. The expected response from the addressee of this tirade is “Darling, you should see a therapist” instead of the more normal “get the f** out of my house, you creepy bastard!” What is really surprising is that it is known to work, if therapists are to be believed, of course.

Given that the words “muse”, “mistress”, and “model” had the same meaning in Picasso’s vocabulary, I’d say he was an adept of this doctrine.

2. She is built of phallic Lego blocks

Look, all the body parts are disconnected. And most of them represent phallic Lego blocks.

IMG_0995 - копия (2)If you don’t see it here, I can’t help you. If no one sees it here, except me, it’s me who can’t be helped. Yet, I am full of hope I am not alone.

If you have friends around you now, feel free to entertain them by the competitive counting of stylised phalluses in this painting. Don’t forget to tell me how many they find.

Why is this phallic symbolism important?



Picasso doesn’t give you a porno image to fantasize about. He gives you inspiration to create something that would be your own sexual object, in your own wicked mind, made out of your own naughty fantasies.

3. Now, if you have a phallus, you can insert it anywhere.

It’s not enough to have a girl built. She has to be built in a way that she can be made love to in more ways than a seasoned Kamasutra practitioner can imagine.

Picasso was a first-class maniac, for the number of orifices, pathways, and spots which a phallus owner may explore here is beyond the wildest dreams of a porn-director.

Play your own game with it, but notice that even the towel’s folds are quite suggestive:

IMG_0995 - копия (4)

To sum it up:

It is not a pornographic image to stimulate arousal. It is a DIY set to inspire you to create your own pornographic universe. If you have a working phallus, and are not a member of any religious order that prevents or limits its use, this Picasso is for you.

I am sorry if you are a Catholic priest. I should have posted a warning for you at the top, “This material is of no practical value to celibate readers. Proceed at your own risk”.

If you are a woman, it’s tricky. This Picasso is a lot like a blot drawing that shrinks love shoving in front of their patients. What you see there reflects who you are and whether you should be locked away or allowed to walk free until your next visit. It is a dangerous ground to explore. For instance, if you say you stand against female objectification, and this Picasso resonates with you at some level, it is a sign you are not against female objectification at least a couple of hours a day.

If you are Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner, I’d love to know how you feel about this painting. You can probably experience it from two perspectives, so to say. It must be double fun.


Having received a few very valuable comments to this post, I feel the need to take the proverbial tongue out of my cheek and say that Picasso is not an “easy listening” kind of art. The problem with Picasso is that he is so often referred to as a “genius”, that we expect his art to be understood at once, be instantly gratifying, and immediately pleasing. It doesn’t work this way.

If I peel mockery off this post, this painting would emerge as a very strong statement. It addresses the sexual revolution or evolution of the 20th century in a way few artworks can hope to achieve. Think of the consumer attitude to the female body that permeats the society through pop culture and advertising, disguising itself in the false robes of romantic admiration. “You are like a star, like a breeze for my soul! — Now let’s shag, and be done with this romantic nonsense”. It is all in there, in this painting, explicit and concentrated. It is not a woman in the painting. It is the raw, hungry male consumer attitude to women. Do I need to have the same attitude to admire the painting? No. Can I admire the painting for its ability to express this attitude? Yes.

The Incomplete Idiot’s Guide to Artists. Batch 1

I have been collecting typical questions about artists and art for some time, and here’s the first batch of answers: often biased, sometimes rude, and always right. 

Amedeo Modigliani


Question (typical): Almost all Modigliani’s nudes have eyes, which he left blank in many of his portraits. Why?

Answer (mine): Amedeo slept with his nude models, and sometimes invited women to pose nude to shag them after. He also said, ‎’When I know your soul, I will paint your eyes.’ Obviously, it took him longer to know the soul of a clothed woman.

Q: Aha! I am beginning to understand nudists… Clothes get in the way of knowing the other person, right?

A: I am not sure it was their original intent, but they would be fools to reject your concept. 

Damien Hirst


Q: Why is he the greatest living UK artist?

A: For the same reason Van Gogh was the greatest entrepreneur of his time!

Q: But Van Gogh was no entrepreneur…

A: My point exactly!

Alberto Giacometti

Walking man

Q: Why is Giacometti’s Walking Man described as a sculpture about urban loneliness?

A: Because the observer wants to know “Why the heck is the guy so thin?” instead of becoming interested in the guy’s life, opinions, character, profession, or at least his destination.

Q: Is this your answer?

A: In a large city, we meet thousands of strangers in a day, and only notice their existence if they are especially thin, fat, ugly, or beautiful. We never get interested in WHO they are. And, reciprocally, all these strangers feel the same about us. Urban isolation is about feeling lonely in a crowd. Loneliness is a consequence of your personality being of zero interest to others. You dig now?

Picasso, Jeff Koons, and others are bound for batch 2. Have unanswered questions? Send them in! Have friends who have questions? Tell them where they can find answers.

Domestic Surrealism

I know you know Magritte’s Pipe, which is not a pipe. So I am going straight to what I think we need to do.

“This is not a…” has become an internet meme as powerful as the line “This is not what you think it is!”

Banksy used it:


Even Kim Kardashian is a fan (though I doubt she’s aware of the primary source).

Kim KardashianOut in Hollywood, CAJuly 3, 2008

Frankly, if there’s one thing I care least, it is the debate whether art represents life or is life itself. I care about the changing or second meaning of things. It’s more fun.

I think we can keep building on the great master’s idea, making it relevant today. That’s a set from the times when I was a teenager:


What are the objects that have a double meaning for you?

Let me know, I’ll add them to the gallery, with full credits, and many thanks!

Can Man fool God?


“Rock, scissors, paper
Is an endless game of chance,
And chance means freedom!”



This week, I go for tanka, as a tool to interpret art, which today is a humorous take on Michelangelo’s fresco in the Sistine Chapel. It is a bit longer than haiku, which readers of my blog seem to have enjoyed. If you liked this tanka, check out the previous one, about Life, Death, and Hell. Let’s see if it works!

I’m here about the “Igor Wanted” ad

It is very nice when your favourite “historical nineteenth century” hotel in a lake-side Swiss town adds a Russian receptionist to its crew, who greats you with the multi-syllable “Dobro Pozhalovat’” instead of a curt “welcome”.

This is the hotel, If you look for a set to film a murder in a hotel, that's your best find: it has four floors and no safety net.

This is the hotel, If you look for a set to film a murder in a hotel, that’s your best find: it has four floors and no safety net.

It gets weird when he enthusiastically continues in English for the benefit of everyone in the group, “I’ll be helping you viz all your needs and vonts. If you need anyzzing, just call me, and I vill give you a hand! My name is Igor”.

A hump-sporting, lisping Igor servant is considered a must-have for any serious mad scientist who dabbles in raising people from the dead with controlled lightning and Lego-kind surgery, so when a thunderstorm descends upon the lake this very evening, with proper showers, piloerectile lightning ripping the sky, and white boats bobbing up and down on the waves, you do expect Igor to knock on the door. With someone else’s hand.


Nothing can prepare one for a blues night out better than that. Buddy Guy’s getting off stage, down to the crowd of fans and playing god with his guitar in the midst of the auditorium seems only natural in the surreal world of the Montreux Festival.


The next day you take a pic of Chillon Castle and suddenly the warning sign, put there by a concerned Igor, gets a new, sinister meaning.


Lord Byron touched it, you know. He scratched “Byron” on one of the columns in the castle’s cellar. He didn’t live long after that.

This artless post is an announcement that I am on vacation now, with Italy being the next stop. Stay tuned, for there’s going to be a lot of art along the way.

P.S. In case you didn’t know: “piloerectile” is an adjective derived  from “piloerection”, which is a cultural way to say “goose bumps”. Goose bumps raise hair on one’s body into an erect position, and “pilo-“ is Greek for hair. This reflex helped our ancestors to look bigger in the eyes of larger animals that were scaring them s**tless. Our survival is a proof the trick must have been working at the time. Guns made it an unnecessary rudiment, good only for the second line after your preferred pick-up opener, “You’re so beautiful (I am so happy to see you) you give me piloerection”. I am afraid only men can use it, and only with caution (make sure “pilo” is clearly pronounced), and even if it raises an interested eyebrow, it is still pretty dumb.  


It was the steam and heat that fueled their disagreement on art. He stormed out of the sauna, to cool out in the snow. The ice hole in the lake was emitting the blackness of winter. With a Wicked Witch laugh, she jeered at him, “Jump, Kazimir!”

Suprematism was born.

This is a 50-word story inspired by the Daily Prompt, and, of course, the Black Square, to while away the time left until the Last Judgement post finally hits the press.