Saturday, 14 March 2015

The Picasso Top

Art was never my strong point at school, I rarely ever coloured inside the lines, and I don't mean that in a metaphorical 'I was breaking the boundaries' sort of way, I'm just genuinely not a particularly neat person. I think it's fair to say that this was held against me by my teacher at the time, and somewhat downcast, I stopped drawing in my spare time, convinced that neat and 'correct' was the only way to go, something my clumsy, awkward style was never going to be able to replicate.
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But I feel like in this blessed internet age, lots of different ways to access art have been opened up to us, some that might seem controversial. If you're a tumblr user, you might have seen those memes going round of song lyrics plastered over famous paintings. There's also body comparisons, that combine art and the mainstream media, such as satirically comparing mother and child sculptures to images of Kim Kardashian and North West. What's more, blogs such as Ugly Renaissance Babies are opening up younger people to the details of classical paintings, even if it is just to laugh at them. And I'll be honest, when going round an art gallery I always fall into the trap of comparing scenes and subjects in paintings to my friends, i.e 'lol that looks like you', but hey, at least it means I'm taking some form of interest right?

So I guess it's a bit of a given to make the comparison between art and fashion. The line between cultural influences and fashion was sort of the thing that got me hooked in the first place. I fell in love with Luella Bartley because she infused her collections with references to English tea parties and Cornish witchcraft. Even now, Molly Goddard took her most recent collection as an excuse to set up a life drawing class of models wearing taffeta and frills. In some ways I'd felt guilty that my principle interest appeared to be fashion, as it had always been seen as vacuous and shallow, but these cultural and artistic influences coming through taught me otherwise, and encouraged me to be more creative with my own style.

I've always fondly called this top, a vintage find from a while ago, my 'Picasso Top,' mainly because it reminded me of some of his disjointed, fragmented, yet very colourful portraits of the women in his life (and as far as I can tell, ol' Pablo couldn't keep his proverbial paintbrush to himself). I've heard jokes before when people have said they feel like a Picasso painting, i.e slightly disordered and all over the place, which absolutely strikes a chord with me. It's not like Picasso had much interest in representing reality as it was and colouring in between the lines, and neither do I. I mean, I'm not trying to say I'm Picasso or anything, but let's say I'm like the Picasso of fashion blogging or something.
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Girl Before A Mirror, Picasso (1932)
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Portrait of Dora Maar, 1937

If you'd like to learn more Picasso and you're a UK reader, there's a pretty good documentary about him on BBC Iplayer here.
Thanks for reading! Belphoebe x Find me elsewhere! Instagram

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