The Picasso Museum of Barcelona: An Artist’s Life

I’m not a big fan of Picasso, I am sorry to say.  But when I found myself in Barcelona recently with my 14-year-old daughter, I felt we had to do something other than shop and eat, something redeeming with our time there. And so we went to the Picasso museum of Barcelona, known in Spanish as the Museo Picasso de Barcelona. I am so glad we did.

What is so cool about the Museo Picasso de Barcelona is that it shows Picasso’s progression from a child—his very first paintings! Then, as he began going to school for painting and art, you get to see him develop his skills. And as he goes through each and every phase, you can see the heavy influences of other artists of the time whom he either was hanging out with, studying, or wishing he was hanging out with. What is amazing is how much the first half of his life as a painter barely resembles what you would now consider a “Picasso” at all.  (What you also learn is that at one point or another, almost every artist draws erotic pictures—whether they get found and saved or not.)

If you picture a Picasso in your mind, I’m sure it’s very modern, highly graphic, geometric, and well…Picasso-y. But it was a long, convoluted journey for him to get to that place, and THAT is the best lesson of the Picasso museum.

We tend to see talented people and others as “born this way,” to quote Lady Gaga. Their genius seems a miracle pulled from thin air, or perhaps computed from a DNA code (pick your religion here). But what you see is that the genius comes out of the journey itself, which is a journey most people never even begin.

Perhaps we are all born with some sort of genius, which can only be uncovered by pushing boundaries, experimenting with the uncomfortable, breaking the rules, or just plain pushing yourself farther than you thought you could ever go?

Are you awake or asleep in your life? Are you too comfortable? Or worse, are you depressed and trying to ignore it by taking drugs, rather than gouging out the pain (with a paintbrush or a pen)—which is what is required for true healing and truly living an awakened life?

It’s a choice we all make every day, to enter into the journey full-force or allow ourselves to be swept along in the sea of sleeping humanity. That is the genius of Picasso and people like him. They show us that there is a reward for pushing those boundaries—even if it’s just the pleasure of pushing. While initially the world may ridicule such rebellion, ultimately, the world embraces the truly brave and original (yes, by spending millions and millions of dollars on some paint on a canvas.)

Something tells me we each have a bit of that potential genius in us if we choose it.

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10 Responses to The Picasso Museum of Barcelona: An Artist’s Life

  1. robin June 13, 2011 at 7:17 am #


  2. karen in winchester June 13, 2011 at 7:19 am #

    inspiring words indeed! the journey is the fun and can be very rewarding if we allow it to happen. Thanks for post.

  3. Catherine Breheny June 13, 2011 at 7:47 am #

    Wonderful! Thanks for the post, it does make one think!

  4. Lacy June 13, 2011 at 8:22 am #

    I first clicked on the post since I recently visited the Paris Picasso Musee and wanted to read what you thought of the Barcelona one, but you left me with far more to consider, Maria. A fabulous post once again!

  5. Paula June 13, 2011 at 8:24 am #

    Thank you for the inspiration, especially “there is a reward for pushing those boundaries—even if it’s just the pleasure of pushing…”

    Sometimes it pays to do something just for the sake of doing it. You don’t need to “get” anything out of it or learn something or make some progress. I keep forgetting this childlike way of being in the world. Thank you.

  6. Bonnie June 13, 2011 at 8:29 am #

    What a wonderful way to spend time (and make memories) with a 14 year old!

    Yes, we think of Picasso as just creating his famous art from the beginning and not an evolving process.

    Personally, I believe many famous eccentric artists including ‘rock stars’ get a pass on basic human responsibilities.

    I believe we overlook the importance of everyday good, kind, responsible people, mothers and fathers, who make great effort to improve our society.

    Let us recognize and celebrate the really important people.

  7. Laura K June 13, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    muy excelente!

  8. Donna in Delaware June 13, 2011 at 4:54 pm #

    I really like Picasso’s Blue Period. I prefer much of what he painted before his “cubist” drawings and paintings.

  9. Donna in Delaware June 13, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

    I believe I saw an exhibition of his work in London a while ago. Nice!

  10. Janet June 22, 2011 at 11:02 am #

    It’s much easeir to understand when you put it that way!

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