Friday, 7 November 2008

Picasso and the anguish of sponges

Throughout his life Pablo impacted on mine. I cannot say we had an easy relationship but I certainly think that it was a creative one. I first met him when I was a schoolboy. Picasso and Braque had come to my little school to assess the work of the art class. That year I had become distraught at the bursting of my favourite football at the hands of the village bully. I cut the ball into various pieces and mounted them on a board in a pleasing yet seemingly random manner. It was no longer recognizable as a sphere yet somehow conveyed sphereness. Both the men took great interest in my work and Picasso asked me what I called it.

'Analytic Spherism'. I replied... Picasso took notes in a little book.

In the 1930's I shared a studio briefly with Pablo in Paris. I have to admit that the clash of egos led to us soon going our own ways. One drunken evening Pablo was determined to demonstrate his skills as a matador, to that end we needed a bull; thinking quickly I removed the saddle and handlebars from my fathers yellow bicycle (the bicycle that killed him) and wired them together to make a very acceptable bulls head with which I proceeded to chase the little Spaniard about the studio. One or two veronicas later he tired and I managed to gore him nicely on the thigh producing a plentiful stream of blood. Dora Maar turned up and while bandaging the wound she demanded that I should leave.

I forgot to take my bicycle parts such was my keenness to go! I often wonder what happened to them.

One thing I did learn from Picasso was: Never trust a vegetarian who has a sponge in the bathroom. They are dead ANIMALS!

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