All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence. Martin Luther King Jr.
On this Labor Day I offer a meditation on a piece of art created by Pablo Picasso. I wanted to offer something different from the usual depictions of laborers in the fields, or factories and in researching my art files I came across an article in the Wall Street Journal, of all places, titled “Picasso’s Labor of Love”. The article is a review of an exhibit of Picasso’s work at the Gagosian Gallery on West 21st Street in New York in April of 2011 which was called “Picasso and Marie-Therese: L’Amour Fou”. I The exhibit includes the sketch shown above which is a depiction by the artist of Marie-Thérèse Walter a beautiful young woman who became his mistress and served as an inspiration to him. It is interesting to note that Picasso was forty five at the time and Marie seventeen. The article goes on to discuss the various women in Picasso’s life who had inspired him in his various periods of prodigious creativity. In reading this article it occurred to me that the power to create is a direct result of the power of love. Unfortunately, the reciprocal of this power is the power to destroy. Perhaps that is what is so attractive about love, and being in love, as there always a terrible risk at the beginning, middle, and end of loving someone that destruction will occur. And, as human beings we are fatally attracted to risk as if to an irresistible potion. But, there is a place where love is always creative, always inspiring, and never destructive. That place is beyond our reach in this world, but despite that, we struggle to bring it here and to remake our world in its image. I offer this to honor, praise, and to dignify all artists, past, present, and future whose work uplifts humanity. I also offer it to all who have loved their fellowman in such a way as to uplift those whom they love and who, by doing so, brings our world closer to that heavenly shore toward which we all travel.
To see the entire article: WSJ: Picasso’s Labor of Love