Sunday, September 14, 2014

Cats in Art: Still Life With Cat and Lobster (Picasso)

From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art. I'm using some ideas from the coffee table book, The Cat in Art, by Stefano Zuffi.  

Image credit WikiArt, here.  Still Life With Cat and Lobster, Pablo Picasso, 1962, oil on canvas, 51" x 63", held in a private collection.

Whenever I write the words, as I just did above, "held in a private collection," I kinda cringe a bit.  Because beautiful art should belong to all of us and be held for the benefit of everybody in public museums.  I guess that's the Socialist in me, thinking of the greater good of society rather than the private pleasures of the few who can afford it.

Anyway, political rant OFF now, and back to Picasso: this is probably the first Picasso painting that I have carefully investigated.  My focus, is of course, the kitty, and quite the kitty it is: one-eyed, zombie-like, ghoulish, yet somehow not sinister.  Just a scruffy kitty about to score really big in the seafood department.

As I look at the two-dimensional image, I am drawn to the brush strokes that look as though Picasso really slathered on the paint, and am immediately reminded of the first time I saw some Van Gogh paintings and was stunned to see just how thick Van Gogh laid on the oils: at least 1/4" thick at some points.  This brush strokes in the cat in this painting appear the same way to me.  Just to stand in front of this painting--and it is big, bigger than 4' high and 5' wide--to scope out the textures would be like heaven.

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