Monday, October 13, 2014
Barbie and 'Les Demoiselles D'Avignon'
Considered one of Picasso's pivotal early masterpieces, 'Les Demoiselles D'Avignon' portrays five prostitutes (only four are visible here because of Barbie's antics) posing for the male eye, with two of the hookers wearing masks, to represent the fear and horror that Picasso had for sexually transmitted diseases. I do realize, of course, that I am supposed to view this work on its own merit of unquestionable genius, and ignore the blatant sexism, but the hell with that. This painting is base, approaching pornography, and so misogynistic that I can't believe no one has thrown a bucket of menstrual blood on it.
At least with the addition of Barbie there is an element of objectified capitalistic empowerment that Picasso so clearly denies his sex workers, diseased women on the fringes of a patriarchal society that both created them and marginalized them.
As a final observation I would like to point out that Picasso, who was not a master of form, often hid or obscured the hands and feet of his subjects because his hand lacked the finesse to render these in a true manner.