Picasso’s Bust of a Man with a Cigarette (1964)
To understand Picasso’s pastel drawing of a man with a cigarette, you need to think of it as a mirror. The figure may not resemble Picasso but he is an alter ego, wearing the same striped shirt Picasso so often wore. The man then holds his cigarette as Picasso would have held the paper-wrapped pastel the cigarette so closely resembles. He is thus drawing the very image we are looking at in a mirror or from the other side of a piece of glass. Either way, the painter paints himself.
More Works by Picasso
"Genius" is derided nowadays in academia but, if there is no such thing, how did a 13-year old Picasso know what art historians never have?
Never forget the importance of an artist's hand. It can pop up anywhere.
Original Publication Date on EPPH: 06 Sep 2010. © Simon Abrahams. Articles on this site are the copyright of Simon Abrahams. To use copyrighted material in print or other media for purposes beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. Websites may link to this page without permission (please do) but may not reproduce the material on their own site without crediting Simon Abrahams and EPPH.