Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Inspiration and perspiration and the brothel

"Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration." So said Thomas Alva Edison.

And Picasso is a case in point. His amazing picture Les Demoiselles d'Avignon changed art for ever. He trumped Matisse, who was the king of the art world at the time, and according to W'pedia it is "a seminal work in the early development of both Cubism and modern art."

I had thought that he "just came up" with it - the old creative insight, who-can-explain-it, genius thing. But I have been put straight by a fascinating BBC documentary.

Now I know this was no quick revelation, Picasso had filled a notebook with over 700 sketches for this work. That's right: SEVEN HUNDRED sketches. Additional characters came and went (a sailor and a medical student both bit the dust), colors changed, lines and design were tried out. This was a very carefully considered piece.

Oh and Picasso didn't call it Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. He called it The Brothel. So what's in a name? Is the name part of the work? But that is another topic.

Okay guys - get perspiring, whip out those notebooks and let's see what your inspiration is made of!

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