happy.birthday.to.you - pablo picasso
pablo picasso was born today in 1881. the artist whose talent and vision revolutionized art in the 20th century, once famously said, “give me a museum and i’ll fill it.” throughout his long and prolific life, he did this and more. out of all his incredible and brilliant work perhaps his most famous painting (along with les demoiselles d’avignon) is his giant black and white painting guernica.
picasso painted guernica in response to the german luftwaffe’s and the italian fascist aviazione legionaria’s areial bombing of the basque town, guernica, during the spanish civil war in april 1937. between 200 and 400 innocent civillians were slaughtered in the attack, which led the fascists, under general franco, to defeat the republicans, and seize control of spain. later while residing in nazi-occupied paris, during world war ii, he was asked by a member of the gestapo after seeing a postcard of guernica in picasso’s studio, “did you do that” to which he simply responded, “no, you did.”
guernica became a symbol of the harrowing tragedies and suffering civil war inflicted on the innocent. as a statement against war, guernica continues to resonate. in 2003, the painting was covered up with a blue curtain when the then us secretary of state collin powell addressed the press over the american case for war in iraq. the horrific irony of this would not have been lost on the great artist.
this 3-d animation by lena gieseke examines picasso’s powerful painting in detail.