December 11, 2011

Picasso the cowboy

Picasso in his signature striped shirt, cigarette dangling from his mouth, wearing a cowboy hat and holding a gun. Bizarre--reminds me of Cindy Sherman's early film still self-portraits.  Museum Ludwig has an exhibition of Picasso photographs through January 15, 2012 ranging from classic portraits in his studio to views of rooms and works in progress to snapshots on the beach and the staging of the political engagements. The curator wonders if the photographers managed to assert their own pictorial language and style against the dominating presence of their subject, and to what extent? What photographer could maintain independence in the face of Picasso’s need for self-fictionalization?  And: Are any of the photographs interesting apart from the identity of their subject? Good questions.