I read of the big Sotheby’s Picasso auction in Las Vegas - ‘the meadows’ as the Spanish have it. The show features “Femme au béret rouge-orange" above. I am, as is the world at large, in total thrall to the legendary great artist, fully signed up to the church of Our Pablo, forever and utterly Guernica’d. Indeed, I’m in even greater thrall to the magnificent PR machine that keeps Pabs ceaselessly bestriding the known universe while I, for one, creep about and peep about. Yet ‘the meadows’ is not New York. I wonder if there ever could be some sassy, Nevadan lassie, prepared to pile in and speak her truth to overwhelming power? To look, eyeball to eyeball, through the endless glazes of praise, layer after layer, at the paint mildly sitting there, rather dully, on the canvas. ‘Taint likely, I know. Am I saying I have my doubts? No, no-ish. I lack the education, the knowledge, the intelligence, the wisdom, the taste, or the ability to comment. All I have is slightly wonky eyeballs and the hairs on the back of my neck. Experience shows even them to be unreliable. So let me be clear about this. This is not amateur art criticism. I would not aspire so high. So, what is it then? Well, it’s yer bloggy ramble, innit. Here’s my opinion, my truth, my whole truth and nothing but the truth, for what it’s worth. If I found I was standing next to me at some art function or other, I’d move away, unobtrusively, but away, yes, definitely away. I advise you to do the same.
Picasso's "Femme au béret rouge-orange" depicts the model Marie-Thérèse Walter. They began an affair in the late 1920s and had a child together. Credit: Courtesy Sotheby's and MGM Resorts
Author, author, I hear you cry. Well, here goes. I come from haunts of coot and hern, I make a sudden sally… Hang on that’s not me, that’s Tennyson. Oops! Wrong copy, sorree. I’m James Kelso – and, actually, do you know what, I feel a tad awkward writing this sort of self-puffery. So, if it’s okay with you, can we leave it there? Thank you. I knew you’d understand. Browse on, McDuff.