Ask almost anyone in the Western world to name a great artist (or any artist for that matter) and you can bet that Picasso will make the cut. It's been over forty years since his death, yet his iconic status has not diminished in the least. Integral to his enduring legacy (especially for today's artists, writers and creators) are his concise and powerful thoughts on art and art-making.
Recently the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum @GuggenheimBilbao took to Twitter to remind us of Picasso's brilliance as a philosopher of art - and of life:
"The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away." -Pablo Picasso
Picasso speaks to all of us, no matter whether our gifts are "creative" or not. For those of us called to create, his words take on a special urgency. The twin notions that art is a "gift" and that the artist/creator is a "gifted" individual have captivated many a great mind - including the poet, essayist, scholar and MacArthur fellow, Lewis Hyde. His classic The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property is ESSENTIAL reading for every artist/creator regardless of discipline. The book was re-released on the occasion of its twenty-fifth anniversary as The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World. No matter the version, Hyde will transform/shift/just plain rock your "creating" world! Consider this:
Art is a gift, not a commodity. . . . We come to painting, to poetry, to the stage hoping to revive the soul. And any artist whose work touches us earns our gratitude. . . .When art acts as an agent of transformation [we may] speak of it as a gift. . . . Moreover, with gifts that are agents of change, it is only when the gift has worked in us, only when we have come to its level, as it were, that we can give it away.
I'm Mary Antonia Wood, Ph,D. I share both contemporary & ancient insights on the origins & realities of artistic expression. Creators of all types will discover enriching & practical wisdom about their vocation as expressed through the lenses of philosophy, mythology, archetypal & depth psychologies, neuroscience and more. Take a look.