Chapter 1: Throw the Bucket and Draw the Water
Two small children were standing inside an art gallery because it was raining and they could not find any other shelter. So they entered the gallery. Standing there soaked with water, dripping, one boy looked at a Picasso painting and he said, “My God, we should get away from here! If they catch us they will say we have done it. Some idiot has spoiled everything. We have not touched it, but we are in a position we will not be able to defend.”
It is said, that once Picasso’s car was stolen. He reported it to the police station, and the people knew him. They said, “It is very sad and sorry. Do you have some details and a description - number plate, what kind of car?”
He said, “I never looked at the number plate, but I can draw a sketch.” So he drew a sketch of his car and the police searched hard. And finally, they caught one horse, one washing machine and the Eiffel Tower!
The Picasso sketch gave them all these ideas - and it was a sketch of a car! Picasso’s way of thinking, way of looking at things, was strange and crazy. He was a great genius, but a little outlandish.
A very rich woman wanted him to make her portrait. He said, “I don’t generally do that kind of painting because my fee is so much. Secondly, nobody seems to be satisfied when the portrait is finished. It will be almost one million dollars. If you are ready to pay I can do the portrait.”
The woman said, “One million or two million, it doesn’t matter, but I want a portrait by you.”
So he made the portrait. It took many sittings and the woman became more and more puzzled as she saw the portrait coming up. When the portrait was complete she said, “Only one question, I want to know where my nose is. Everything is okay, but at least I should know where my nose is. From there I can figure out the eyes, the mouth, my ears - that can be the center for finding myself.”
Picasso said, “I told you in the very beginning.! Now it is a trouble to find the nose - who knows where your nose is! I have painted it, that is true, but in so many sittings I can’t remember exactly where I have put it. You take it home and contemplate; perhaps you may find it. It is there, that much is certain. It is there, this much I can guarantee because I remember I have painted your nose. But don’t harass me! You are paying money for the portrait not for these questions. If you had told me before that you would ask questions I would have refused, because who takes care where your nose is, and in what way does it matter? Somewhere it must be in the portrait. If somebody asks you, you can say, ‘Just look, you will find it.’ Just one thing: if you or somebody else finds it, inform me.”
Picasso became one of the great painters. But all his paintings are, to say the least, insane. He himself was insane; he was pouring his insanity into colors on the canvas - it was his projection. He was a genius. He could manage to paint, and paint in many original ways. Naturally, if you cannot find the nose, the portrait is original. What more originality can you expect? He has worked hard but his way of seeing..