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Picasso - Mr Stranglehold of modernistic Art or Art in general?

Stephen Hornsby-Smith

'Les Dames D'Avignon' picked the lock of 'stationary Art', but Picasso then sold tickets to gain entry. Why? Because he wanted to be the ultimate locksmith to the Art world for the 20th century.I have lost faith in his need to dominate Art and I have to work quite hard to value his work and not see in his work an' indulgent misanthropism'. Perhaps his lust for recognition was the real pre-curser of Warhol ('Campbell's Soup'), another self-publicist deftly manipulating commercialism, and perhaps we can now see Duschamps (the toilet) as the true artistic genius (or piss take) of 21st centuries Conceptual Art. But try as I may, I can't ignore Picasso's hubris or his plagiarism or his habit of furthering possibilities beyond Cubist radicalization.

Just as Picasso horrified most of Parisian sensibilities with African masks painted on Cubist paintings, so he was trying to warn Europe of the imperial explosion that entrenched the debacle of the Ist world War. His paintings however represented the clash of cultures and the clattering of modern instruments of destruction shrouded in the contempt he had towards Western culture, whilst misappropriating African Art as the currency of violence and degeneracy that forewarned the world of the War and augmented it.

In aesthetic terms, Picasso personified a world of darkness and hatred in a a primordial attempt to represent the world in trauma and agony - does this seem to be a positive representation of African masks that had a functional as well as artistic value? No! Modernism sacrificed African work for Western bastardization of African Art. Cultural imperialism had never so explicitly spawned itself within the early 20th century scene. But for the 'Atlantic enlightenment' (American patrons of Art), Impressionism would have died at its birth from the wounds of spiteful Parisian Art critics, and then Picasso would have been ignored. This is one way that nascent America changed outcomes for global benefit, another was the Spanish flu that American soldiers brought to the War in 1918 that did the exact opposite; perhaps that 'double-edged sword' cursed progress.

So , is it possible to argue that modernism brought more misery than it did offering hope? Was modernism a war too? Can we now understand why 21st century Art world has suppressed the medium of Painting because it was the main medium that weaponized to destroy more than it created? Did it become a 'secular religion' of confrontation?As we recover from the dark times of the Cold War is it now possible to wrench modernism from yesterday's cynicism? If we can, is it possible to see that semi-abstract and abstract images adorn our modern 21st century world on every advert or social media experiences, and these images are progressive in our own homes? Sure, back-channeling of Conceptual Art maintains its supremacy, but has Modernistic imagery ever been so popular and functional? The west has its own 'African Mask' that redeems us from the shadows of ignorance and's called modernism of the 21st century!

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