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INSPIRATIONAL ARTISTS #4: Picasso

Super-Heroes, Myths and Reality


I have “Daddy Issues” with Picasso.

He died when I was a young child. I remember going to the museum with my parents to see his works. I even had a poster of a drawing of his dove hanging in my childhood bedroom. I did not know him personally. Picasso and Chagall were two of my childhood heroes and role models. Freud’s “Age of Latency’, (a period in childhood development) totally describes me at the age of 8-9 years old; I was totally into playing out of doors, riding my bike, and painting. I had an easel set up in my bedroom. My desk had my first set of oil paints, full of crayons and pastels. I drew all the time on anything available, much to the dismay of my teachers. Boy-Girl issues were furthest from my mind until mid-6th grade when life (and development) got in the way. As far as I was concerned at that stage of my life, there was male, female and artist. I was going to be an artist and my quest was to be the next Picasso.

“Seashells”, Digital Illustrations based on Photographs @All Rights Reserved to Barbara Adler 2021


Then, I grew up and went to art school. I read biographies and articles regarding artists. Much to my dismay, I discovered how the art world was predominantly male-oriented. I realized that as a young aspiring woman artist, these male artists would never have excepted me into their club. I began looking at their art differently. So, I couldn’t “be” the next Picasso because I wasn’t of the right gender.

“Between the Sea and the Park”, Acrylic on Italian Canvas, 155/40 cm @ All Rights Reserved to Barbara Adler 2021


Art is art, remember? (Blog; “Inspirational Artists #1”) I didn’t appreciate that saying at the time. Since I saw Picasso as a demi-god and not as a human being, I was furious with Picasso. How could he be so full of flaws? I was blinded by the gossip surrounding Picasso’s colorful life. The way he treated women. What he thought of women. How he used women. How he treated his family. I get it. He won’t be nominated spouse or father-of-the-year. It interfered with my love and admiration of his art, his influence, his contribution and importance to the language of art. He was a GENIUS! His contribution to the art world and to culture, in general, was immense. This dissonance turned me against my childhood hero.


Then I matured. As an art teacher for many years, I taught by the curriculum. Picasso was a big part of the first half of 20th-century art and culture. I couldn’t avoid him. Abstract, surrealism, expressionism, post-impressionism, cubism, and all that came following couldn’t’ have happened without him. He was involved in it all. If Picasso hadn’t existed, he would have had to have been invented. I taught and appreciated, mainly enjoyed my students’ reactions over the years to his work and influence. I could always count on Picasso to make my lessons lively, fascinating, and loud. I still couldn’t make peace with my hero. I tried to ignore him. Focus on other artists. Good Art is Good Art. He was the master. He is to this day, the measure, the perimeter, the pure index that defines art. We all want to be Picasso, but we won’t be because we are who we are.


I left teaching to become a full-time artist. Art is demanding. It is not a nine-to-five job. It is a lifestyle, encompassing all factors of one’s life and existence. Art cannot be judged by the grapevine. Picasso was by no doubt a social icon, took a stand on many issues, and was a reflection of his times. He enjoyed being in the center of attention. Be his lifestyle judged (and it shouldn’t), it should only be done by a jury of his peers. His art, and his contribution on the other hand, as all art, is immortal until it turns to dust many centuries away.


“The Field by The Sea”, Digital Interpretation to My Painting, @All Rights Reserved to Barbara Adler 2021


I won’t be the “next” Picasso.

I am Barbara Adler the Artist. I do my own art. I tell my own story. It is not Picasso’s story; his shoes are way too big for me anyway.


Everybody needs art. There is Art for everyone’s state of mind, desires, and tastes.

All the works on this blog are for sale and are Barbara Adler originals. I love talking about my art, so feel free to contact me regarding my art and possibly making it yours.


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