If one were to ask a non-art fundi to name five artists, Picasso (1881-1973) would probably feature on all the lists. He is well known, as is his distinctive and legible signature.
Of course, most of us non-art fundis know more about Picasso’s later life than his early life, and Young Picasso is, as the title suggests, about Picasso’s life and work until he is about 25 years of age.
I found it fascinating to follow in Picasso’s footsteps as he makes his way from Malaga to Barcelona, Madrid and Paris, from his juvenile genius, through a scandalous personal life and his famous blue and rose periods. South Africans who saw the Picasso exhibition at the Standard Bank Gallery will be interested to see how the movie details his African inspired works.
The start of Picasso’s famed “Blue Period” was brought on by the death of his good friend, Carlos Casagemas, who shot himself in a restaurant in Paris in 1901 after a potential love affair with one of the models he and Picasso used went sour.
One of the many “talking heads” (art fundis) for this exhibition is Olivier Picasso, the grandson of the artist, who talks about his grandfather endearingly as “Pablo”.
The movie starts with a very precocious seascape painted by Picasso, the son of an art teacher, at the age of seven and runs up until 1907 with the early cubist prototype, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon with just a hint of Guernica to whet the appetite for more.
The movie releases at Cinema Nouveau movie houses throughout South Africa on 1 June 2019. It has a running time of 85 minutes.