Words and works of Contemporary Artist Keith M Ramsey

Picasso and the Parallel Paths Between Us…

I am an artist than can be compared to Picasso.

Yep I said it…

After being treated to the huge Picasso exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts on Friday by a dear friend of mine, I came to the conclusion that me and the world-famous artist, timeless historical figure and cultural icon have approached art in similar fashion.

Although his work has ultimately changed the way millions of people view art, while I was taking it in, I wasn’t in awe by the name (and the astronomical dollar amount) associated with the collection.

Not being blinded by the fact that it was Pablo Picasso helped me enjoy the pieces that struck me, walk pass pieces that didn’t impress me and look critically at a few I really didn’t like.

The great painter is known primarily for his innovation and daring approach to try imagery that defied the convention of his time.

My friend and I saw the work past the other museum patrons milling around the art and talking to each other or listing to the audio devices, and the experience lead me to reflect back on the many different approaches and experimentation in my artistic history. I began to remember paintings in my past that suffered a lost focus and were either stripped or “whited-out”, only to have new images created in their place.

Sculptures in steel and wood, oil paintings and found objects, I tried it all and I realized, if my whole artistic “career” was put on display in a retrospective showing, from the time before my college education up to the present, there would be a long line of successes, missteps and out right failures scattered along the path to the artist I am today.

Having that in mind made me appreciate his work even more, especially the pieces that looked like he tried a technique, then moved on to another piece with different material and style while only glancing backward.

As long as I’ve known about the great artist, I never thought I would have the opportunity to see his work in real life, even more so, I never thought comparing my own path to his would be possible. But, chances are, I’m not unique in feeling that way. The evolution of artists continue to follow similar lines with each other in trying new techniques and styles with success or failure behind each approach to their work.

As long as we continue to work and evolve without giving in to societal pressures that get in the way of doing what makes us exist as artisans, we’ll continue to innovate, stretch the imagination and display the human experience in a multitude of mediums.

I enjoy imagining, if he were alive and living in Richmond, Picasso would frequent my favorite south side coffee shop. He and I would sit down over a cup of joe and we’d have casual conversations, a few laughs and could relate to each other thru the experiences with our respective arts.

And quite honestly, that feels pretty good.

Thanx for viewing…



One response

  1. I also viewed the Picasso exhibit at VMFA, twice! When viewing the work I realized how he constantly worked at perfecting his craft, and at the same time he really never perfected it. The exhibit revealed that Picasso constantly studied and tried ways to reinvent his art and message. It showed he was not afraid to take chances with his style.
    Picasso marked the essence of a “true” artist – One who never says his work is done.

    05/17/2011 at 9:03 pm

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