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Pablo Picasso and Space Invaders

December 16, 2006

Continuing our sojourn through Paris, Dad and I went to the Musée Picasso today—one of my favorite museums. We got a bit lost on the way there after misinterpreting a sign directing us to the museum, but one broken umbrella and a croque-monsieur later we arrived none the worse for wear outside the entrance to the museum. Today was our first normal French winter day, you see, meaning that it was marginally more chilly then the past two days, cloudy, and a bit rainy. Naturally I had my umbrella, and not 100 yards from the metro station exit a nice gust of wind renders my umbrella useless. Of course, the only solution when we didn’t immediately find the museum was to step into a café for some lunch.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Before lunch we once again stumbled upon aliens in France. Our last visit, I discovered a small Space Invaders mosaic above a door on some building in downtown Paris. Today we discovered an entire fleet!

Drop down! Change direction! Increase speed!

The museum itself was fantastic. It was less overwhelming this time, I think in part because I knew what to expect. Picasso was a fantastic, if deranged, artist. I was once again baffled by “Man with a Mandolin.” Picasso must have either been a genius capable of seeing shapes in objects that are otherwise invisible to me, or he was a madman—if you will forgive the hyperbole. In the absence of my favorite piece—his rendition of Sacré Coeur—I was quite taken by his sculptures. They are interesting to me because most of them change so much when you look at them from different angles.

In addition to Picasso’s work, someone had gotten the bright idea to x-ray some of his sculptures and submit those as art; some of them worked quite well. The sculpture below was not done by Picasso, but inspired by him; even so I think it is quite remarkable, and I suspect it was done with the intention of being x-rayed. You can see in the x-ray that the leaves of the flower contain some nails or something, which I can only assume were put there for the purpose of showing up in the x-ray. I also think that this is the best photo I’ve taken so far, and may continue to be.

And of course, there’s always his paintings. We found a few today that were called “The Kiss,” or some variant. One common theme among these was that the subjects always appeared to be trying to eat each other. This was my favorite of the three…

Tomorrow we are off to the Musée de la Musique where they supposedly have on display 4,500+ musical instruments dating back to the Renaissance…

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One comment

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