* Roses are Blue *
The Shadow was painted when Picasso was 73, shortly afterhis young wife FranЌoise Gilot had left him. In this haunting image, a plane of afternoon light casts the artist's own shadow into their bedroom, but that shadow misses contact with the arching female form that embodies his imagination of lost love.
I just saw this not three hours ago at the De Young in San Francisco, and I was startled, even horrified (in a good way, if there is such a thing), when I turned the corner into the gallery and looked at it. Not knowing the history of it or Picasso's life, I first took it as a comment on how the artist intrudes on the subject. After looking at it for a very long time, I was startled again to consider the possibility that the shadow represents not the artist but the observer (ie, me).
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