The innocent genius of the dirty old man

by DRM


Take a Catholic background, mix in a fascination with the formal dignity of romantic heroes, like chivalrous knights and principled Samurai warriors, and you’ll get someone who can fall into the trap of putting Art and Artists up on a pedestal.

That’s me. Or at least an inclination that I have. Art is a big cathedral and you need to be worthy to get into the service. If you’re not worthy, you are going to have to sit outside and listen to whatever faint sounds you can pick up in the hot summer air.

So it’s good to be reminded that great art is created by people who have human urges, who are captured in the flow of the human condition. Some of them comport themselves with dignity; some struggle with inner torment; some decide that the way that they see the world puts them outside of all the rules.

I read this discussion about a writer experiencing a retrospective of Picasso’s work, got to the end and thought, Yep, that was a life spent coloring outside the lines.

Picasso worked and lived and loved and created art. That he was a genius was a bonus.