Gurdjieff used to say that there are two kinds of art. One he used to call objective art, and the other he used to call subjective art. Subjective art is absolutely private, personal. Picasso’s art is subjective art; he is simply painting something without any vision for the person who will see it, without any idea of the person who will look at it. He is simply pouring out his own inner illness; it is helpful for himself, it is therapeutic.
I am not saying that Picasso should stop painting, because if he stops painting he is bound to go mad. It is painting that is keeping him sane; his painting is like vomiting. When you have eaten something wrong, when you have food poisoning, vomiting is the most healthy way to throw the toxins, the poisons, outside the system; it will help. Picasso’s paintings are like vomiting. He is suffering from many illnesses, all the illness that humanity is suffering from. He simply represents humanity, he is very representative.
He represents the whole madness that is happening in millions of people. He is a sensitive soul; he has become so attuned with the pathology of mankind that it has become his own pathology, hence the appeal of his paintings; otherwise they are ugly. Hence his great name – because he deserves it, he represents the age. This is Picasso’s age: what you cannot say about yourself, he has said it. What you cannot pour out of yourself, he has poured it on the canvas. But it is a subjective phenomenon. It is therapeutic to him, but it is dangerous to everybody else.
The ancient art was not only art; it was, deep down, mysticism. Deep down, it was out of meditation. It was objective, in Gurdjieff’s terminology. It was made so that if somebody meditates over it, he starts falling into those depths where godliness lives.
Khajuraho or Konarak – if you meditate there, you will know what the Tantra masters were doing. They were creating in stone something that is felt in the ultimate orgasmic joy. It was the most difficult thing to do, to bring ecstasy into the stone. And if the stone can show the ecstasy, then everybody can move into that ecstasy easily.
But people who go to Khajuraho are foolish people. They look either at Khajuraho sculpture as obscene – then they miss the whole point, then they are seeing something which is within their own unconscious; or they are too moralistic – they don’t meditate on any statues, they are in a hurry to get out of the temple somehow, they just throw glances.
Khajuraho sculpture is not just to see, it is for meditation. Sit silently and meditate for hours. If one goes to Khajuraho, one should live at least for three months there, so he can meditate on each possible inner posture of orgasmic joy. And then, slowly, slowly, the at-onement, the harmony; and slowly, slowly suddenly you are transported into another world – the world of those mystics who created this temple. This is an objective art.