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Picasso, me and Cezanne

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If I was with Picasso, discussing his comment ‘Cezanne is the father of us all’, I would first admit to my confusion. He would no doubt look at me with his dark eyes and I honestly don’t know what he would say in reply.

‘Of course your confused…your a fool aren’t you?’ He might say that, then again he might not.

Maybe in this fantastical world we would summon up Cezanne’s seminal work ‘The Large Bathers’ and pause in front of it. This is the painting no doubt he was referring to when he said that the artist in question was the father of us all. The father of Cubism, abstraction, surrealism?

I would cough slightly and then taking my courage into my hands, would say something like this.

‘To my untrained eye, it looks a not so great painting. In fact let me be more candid, the king like the bathers has no clothes. There is a fool somewhere in the midst of us’

He might simply remind me that Cezanne labored over this piece for seven years, each brush stroke thought through several times. Some parts of the canvas are plain white down to the weave, untouched by paint.

In light of this he would be correct to say to me ‘Educate yourself, child’.

Cloud of unknowing, real knowledge is a nebulous thing oft defying reason and calculated gesturing.

We learn slowly.

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