As my early winter head-cold is winding down I'm getting antsy to hit the streets on that which rolls. Warmer temperatures are predicted for today and the next several days. Besides, the bike gods gave me a sign last night. Monty Python's Flying Circus was on with the Picasso / Cycling Race sketch. If you've never seen it, it begins with Eric Idle announcing,
And now for more news of the momentous artistic event in which Pablo Picasso is doing a specially commissioned painting for us whilst riding a bicycle. Pablo Picasso - the founder of modern art - without doubt the greatest abstract painter ever... for the first time painting in motion. But first of all let's have a look at the route he'll be taking.Picasso on a bicycle might seem a bizarre choice for Monty Python. Other than the fact that bizarre is what they're known for, Picasso did create Tet de Toro in 1943. It's a bizarre piece itself, combining a bicycle saddle with handlebars to represent Picasso's most prevalent theme, a bull's head.
Opinions vary on why the bull appears in most of Picasso's significant art. Depending on the piece, bulls could represent power or weakness, joy or tragedy, life or death. Regardless, the Bull's Head has become so iconic that later artists created their own versions. Even in the bike world, Picasso's name has been used on everything from frames to racks.
There's also a brisk business in exact replicas. This one, to the left, sells for $150. But I don't like it as much as the version above. On the one hand, except for the saddle, it isn't a very good copy. On the other hand, I feel that if you are going to copy a significant piece of art you shouldn't sell it. And why not put your own twist on it?
I'm such a fan of Picasso that whenever I go to see his artworks I always sketch elements in my notebooks. Last winter in Madrid I spent nearly five hours in the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. That got me thinking about his Bull's Head. So when I got back I began to manipulate several images with my new copy of Adobe Illutsrator CS2.