Pablo Picasso.
Pablo Picasso was bom in Spain in 1881 and lived for 91 years. For most of his life he lived in Paris, France. When he died his mansion was turned into Museum Picasso, where his art can be seen today.
People say Picasso could draw before he could walk, with two well known paintings being achieved at the ages of 9 and 13. When Picasso was a child, pictures by Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Cezanne were the modem masterpieces. These paintings looked nothing like real life.
With Picasso's fantastic imagination he took those ideas even further. He started to paint about what he knew about the object or person. Anything solid was broken down into flattened, cut out 'pieces' so you could see all around it. The pieces were shaped like patterns, or cubes, so the new style was called 'Cubism'. When cubism first appeared some critics said it was a complete disaster. Some still do, though the style was Picasso's first gift to the art world. He didn't stop there.
Picasso once said that "a head has an eye, nose, ear and mouth and you can put them anywhere in a picture but the head remains a head". The exciting thing about Picasso was that he kept developing new styles, constantly switching between them.
It is impossible to label his work for one simple reason — Picasso was a genius in just the same way that Mozart magically composed music. Style didn't bother him and he painted and sculptured in any way he wanted. A few years after his cubism period he painted a portrait of his wife, Olga, a Russian ballerina in a peaceful and calm way.
Unlike many other artists Picasso wasn't poor. He had been successful nearly all his life and so had plenty of money. He lived in an elegant flat in a fashionable Paris street.
Picasso constantly tried out new forms of art and invented a new style which, strangely, remained a secret for most of his life — his sculptures. What made them so new and different was that he built them rather than carved them. He loved animals and built sculptures of them from materials he found just lying around, often in rubbish heaps.
One of Picasso's most striking animal sculptures grew out of the handle bars and saddle of an old bike. He found them by chance and decided they were in fact a bull's head. It is even more powerful because Picasso made it during the second World War when Paris was occupied by the Nazi German Army. The Bull is said to be like a menacing enemy.

Last Updated (Friday, 19 February 2010 17:05)