Deliniation by Way of Deconstruction

September 26, 2014
Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973). Woman in an Armchair, 1909–10. Oil on canvas. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Mr. and Mrs. Klaus G. Perls Collection, 1997 © 2014 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York (1997.149.7)

«I think I'd have really liked to have had my portrait painted by Pablo Picasso, but for reasons beyond the obvious desire to be painted by one of the most renowned artists to have ever existed. What is so tantalizing about Picasso's portraits is the expression of human psychology through his representation of the human form.»

When I look at Picasso's Woman in an Armchair, I love to think about what the seemingly random shapes and unusual colors that form this woman say about her. To me, the woman's facial expression is very tranquil, and the dark colors and swirling lines seem to convey that she is one with her environment and content with her life. I then wonder what the model was really like, if she really was so peaceful, and why Picasso chose to depict her in this way.

I would love to see what geometric forms Picasso would have used to best represent me, and what it would be like to step outside of my own self-perceptions and see how I am viewed through someone else's eyes. I want to see what the portrait would say about me, and, most intriguingly, what the work would say about him. Every single painting by Picasso invites the observer to take a peek into his mind. To see how Picasso depicts a subject whose character I am familiar with—me—would reveal so much about the way his mind works.

This modern work above, though seemingly alien at first, is actually so human. Picasso breaks down the human form to reveal the true—or what he perceived as true—nature of the subject, making each of his paintings a gateway into the mind of the man that created it.

Which artist would you like to have create your portrait, and which style, culture, or medium would you like to have them use?

Hannah undefined

Hannah was formerly an intern with the Museum's High School Internship Program.