Filipino art aficionados should rush to the Metropolitan Museum of Manila as it opened recently to the public works of world renowned artist Pablo Picasso. The collection, known in art history as Suite Vollard, features 100 prints of copper etchings created by Picasso from 1930 to 1937.
Picasso is best known as the founder of Cubism. His painting is considered the beginning of modern art. He became rich, world-renowned and heralded to be the top artist of his time. However, as authors Kelly Monroe Kullberg and Lael Arrington pointed out, Picasso has a shattered view of his life and career. In his seventies, Picasso shared with the world one humble confession:
In art the mass of the people no longer seek consolation and exaltation, but those who are refined, rich, unoccupied . . . seek what is new, strange, original, extravagant, scandalous. I myself, since Cubism and before, have satisfied these masters and critics with all the changing oddities which have passed through my head, and the less they understood me, the more they admired me. By amusing myself with all these games, with all these absurdities, puzzles, rebuses, arabesques, I became famous and that very quickly. And fame for a painter means sales, gains, fortunes, riches. And today, as you know, I am celebrated, I am rich. But when I am alone with myself, I have not the courage to think of myself as an artist in the great and ancient sense of the term. Giotto, Titian, Rembrandt were great painters. I am only a public entertainer who has understood his times and exploited them as best he could. . . . Mine is a bitter confession, more painful than it may appear, but it has the merit of being sincere.
A man can have all the talents, fame, love and wealth in the world but without a divine sense of purpose to direct him, internal death is an inevitable course.
What kind of legacy does the world seem to think he has left? Does that seem in tune with his honest assessment of his own life?
(Adapted from A Faith & Cultural Devotional)