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“Art is not made to decorate rooms.  It is an offensive weapon in the defense against the enemy.” — Picasso


  1. Matthew Lickona says

    "I may not know much about art, but I know what I like." – The Pope in Monty Python's "Michaelangelo and the Pope" sketch.

  2. Jonathan Webb says

    That line was worth the price of admission. Thanks to you both. I'll meditate on it while I'm schlepping four tots through Winco tomorrow.

  3. Cubeland Mystic says

    I've said and thought similar things. Art is the only way to resist and engage the culture of death.

  4. Really CM? It doesn't seem to me that that's the view of art that brought about the great gothic cathedrals, for one…

  5. cubeland mystic says

    We don't live in "Gothic" times. So I don't disagree with you in context.

    (BTW, I'd be willing to bet five dollars that Picasso was referring to us as the enemy.)

    Here are some questions to consider.

    Would a culture willing and capable of producing a Chartres simultaneously be able to sustain a culture of death?

    Do great Gothic Cathedrals stand in opposition to anything?

    Also what do Gothic cathedrals specifically have to do with the 20th C. Culture of Death to which I was referring?

    Here is a question for anyone.
    How many aborted babies would it take to fill a Gothic Cathedral?

  6. Rufus McCain says

    CM: Who do you mean by "us"? Catholics? Believers? I doubt it. I think the enemy Picasso was referring to was in fact death. Art is a force for life, even when its subject is death.

  7. cubeland mystic says

    us=Christian Culture

    Are you sure about that? He was in the avante-garde of his day. His art certainly wasn't Christian. Are you sure that Christianity isn't a death cult to Picasso?

    I don't disagree with the statement that art is a weapon or that art is a force for life. Who would Picasso define as the enemy is another question? I don't see his work as sacred work, but he was trying to find truth and was influenced by the thought of his time. My recollection from college classes and some reading since then that it wasn't a Christian world view.

    Regardless of what he meant specifically, I agree with what you say. I would not have said that statement the way Picasso said it in English or the way it was translated into English. "offensive weapon in the defense against the enemy"

    I would have dropped the "in the defense" clause. I don't see art as defensive at all. Also we have to be careful, does he mean offensive to offend or does he mean it to engage something in opposition to itself?

    I mean it in the sense of engaging the enemy which in the context of our times is the Culture of Death.

  8. Jonathan Webb says

    Cubeland Mystic, my oldest son wants to know where you live (generally).

  9. Rufus McCain says

    Here's something, CM. Maybe he and Wallace Stevens are playing tennis in heaven right now.

  10. Cubeland Mystic says

    Hi JW, I am kinda private, and I live mostly in my head. It helps me deal with the dementors. 😉

    I think it was really great that Picasso might have made the cut at the end.

    Every generation has to deal with this "what is art?" question within the context of its time. It is very important to not lose site of context.

    If true about his conversion, perhaps his art led him to realize that in his end was his beginning. He finally arrived where he started and knew the place for the first time. At least one of his contemporaries might have thought that. 😉 Can you guess who?

    We live in the aftermath of wave after wave of Materialist thought and the cultural devastation that artists like Picasso wrought on us.

    I see Korrektiv as a cell of artists and thinkers engaging the dominant culture and its devastation. Perhaps Korrektiv is like The Nebchadnezzar? Captain Rufus and the crew of The Korrektiv broadcasting its pirate signal to anyone listening on the web.

    In the time in which you live isn't it your job to say, "Welcome to the desert of the Real"?

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