Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Picasso and His Guitars

I’m blogging from MOMA on a beautiful spring day. Today I played hooky with my four Parsons fashion students who bothered to show up to class. On our way from the classroom on 40th Street to 53rd Street, we found random, disconnected pieces of inspiration on the way to, and at MOMA. Our angle is always to see things through a prism of fashion, and following our jaunt around the museum we reconnected to have a discussion about form and function. We saw three people donning those odd “foot shoes” that seem to be a throwback to a time when cavemen hunted for their pray without shoes. We saw a metal hammock that looked like rope; Grace Jones videos; Starry Night; Picasso’s guitars. I was struck mostly by how simple Picasso made it all look, again. It’s 1913 and the guy’s locking himself up in Paris to make 3-D guitars out of toilet paper tubes.

Okay, maybe not toilet paper tubes, but he found himself carving out guitars from cardboard, paper, and twine. He worked out these sculptures first from sketches, then hung them on walls, invited photographer friends to come and photograph his process. Today I welcome the randomness of process, and am grateful for the creative sprawl of this city that so lends itself to spontaneity. I’m also grateful to my small handful of students who so willingly up and go on my whim.