Ahead of His Time: Pablo Picasso Light Painting
We all know Pablo Picasso for his very distinct artwork and as one of the great masters. He is credited with creating the style of cubism and is considered one of the greatest artists of the last century, if not all time. I am personally a huge fan of Picasso, but mostly his Blue Period. What many of you may not know is that Picasso wasn’t just a master of painting, he was also a gifted photographer. In this series, Picasso plays with light painting and shows us that what today we think is pretty cool, he had already toyed with over sixty years ago.
LIFE Photographer Gjon Mili, a technical prodigy and lighting innovator, visited Pablo Picasso in the South of France in 1949. Mili showed Picasso some of his photographs of ice skaters with tiny lights affixed to their skates, jumping in the dark — and the Spanish genius’s lively, ever-stirring mind began to race.
“This series of photographs, known ever since as Picasso’s “light drawings,” were made with a small electric light in a darkened room; in effect, the images vanished as soon as they were created — and yet they still live, six decades later, in Mili’s playful, hypnotic images. Many of them were also put on display in early 1950 in a show at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.”
He’s pretty darn good, and with significantly less technology than we use today. Makes me feel a whole lot less adequate, but he is Picasso after all. I’ll try and take solace in that while I sob in a corner.