Hola, my name is Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruiz y Picasso, but you can call me Picasso.
I am the most important artist of the 20th century. I was born in Malaga, Spain in 1881.
When I was a child, my mother said to me, “If you become a soldier, you’ll be a general. If you become a monk, you’ll end up as the pope.” Instead, I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.
My father, who was also a painter and art teacher, taught me to draw and paint, and I soon became a better artist than he!
I never liked school much, because I resented being told what to do by my teachers and so I was often disobedient. I didn’t mind that they sent me to the ‘calaboose,’ a bare cell with whitewashed walls and a bench to sit on. I liked it there, because I took along a sketch pad and drew incessantly … I could have stayed there forever, drawing without stopping.
I can paint very realistically as I did in my teens,…
…and I showed my first paintings at a junk shop when I was 13 years old and even sold a few.
But I like to experiment with materials and styles, and I am very creative and never complacent. I paint or draw every day! You might say I am obsessed with my art.
When I was 20, my close friend, Casagemas, took his own life, I became very sad.
I began to paint in shades of blue, and the people in my paintings of this time often look sad and have an elongated style like that of El Greco, the famous Greek painter, like in my painting The Tragedy…
…or The Old Blind Guitarist. This is called my Blue Period now.
By 1904, when I was 23, I had moved to Paris away from my native Spain, and I fell in love.
My art again reflected my mood – now I was happy, so my paintings had rose and pink colors, so people called this my Rose Period. It was also my Circus Period, for I enjoyed painting circus people and harlequins.
In my painting Family of Saltimbanques, you can even see that I included myself as a harlequin in the painting.
1n 1907, my friend, Georges Braque, and I began experimenting with perspective and challenging the constraints of perspective that had been accepted since the Renaissance. We wanted to try to include many different angles and views of an object in one painting. So we made blocks of different views and started a new style of art called Cubism. My painting Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (The Young Ladies of Avignon) was my first big work in the style of Cubism, and while many found shocking and rejected the angular and jarring view which lacks depth, this pushed my work and art into a new abstract era for which I am known.
I also invented Collage, including bits of newspaper or rope or other real objects in the paintings.
I enjoyed sculpture as well, again making it my own unique style by taking ordinary objects and creating something from them. I once took a bicycle seat and handlebars to create a bull!
During World War I, I again changed my style of painting to return to realistic paintings. This was my Classical Period.
Never content with one style, though, I soon began to experiment with depicting paintings based on Freud’s studies on the power of the subconscious mind. This art movement was called Surrealism.
One of my famous paintings is from this time of Surrealism and is called Guernica after a Spanish city that the Nazis bombed in 1936 during the Spanish civil war. I depict the horrors of war in a disjointed fashion using only white, black and grey. The Nazis were angry at me for creating the painting Guernica and came to my door. “Did you do this?” one asked me. “No,” I replied, “You did.” They created the violence; I only painted it.
While my art is shocking and disturbing to many and I am often asked what it means, I don’t want people to try to understand art. Why spoil the magic of it? I do not think when I paint but let my mind and feelings run free. I live my own way, and my art keeps me alive!
Here’s what you should remember about me:
I am Pablo Picasso.
I lived from 1881 to 1973.
I am a known for my creative experimentation with many styles in especially abstract art.
I am known also for Cubism, Collage and Surrealism.
Watch the video about me too!
Investigate the life and art works of Pablo Picasso in this artist unit study!