Bicycle Diaries: <i>Stalin by Picasso</i>

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Stalin by Picasso

a story about
a lively artist, a dead dictator, and
a small portrait

the lively artist wasn't happy
about the request

nor were the dead dictator's admirers
thrilled with the results

Triple Canopy Issue #4
Stalin by Picasso by Lene Berg

As Picasso said,
Can you imagine if I had done the real Stalin, such as he has become, with his wrinkles, his pockets under the eyes, his warts. A portrait in the style of Cranach! Can you hear them scream? ‘He has disfigured Stalin! He has aged Stalin!’

And then too, I said to myself, why not a Stalin in heroic nudity? … yes, but Stalin nude, and what about his virility? If you take the pecker of the classical sculptor … so small … But, come on, Stalin, he was a true male, a bull. So then, if you give him the phallus of a bull, and you’ve got this little Stalin behind this big thing they’ll cry: But you’ve made him into a sex maniac! A satyr!

Then if you are a true realist you will take a tape measure and measure it all properly. That’s worse, you made Stalin into an ordinary man. And then, as you are ready to sacrifice yourself, you make a plaster cast of your own thing. Well, it’s even worse. What, you dare take yourself for Stalin! After all, Stalin, he must have had an erection all the time, just like the Greek statues … Tell me, you who knows, socialist realism: is that Stalin with an erection or without an erection?”

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