Friday, October 26, 2012

Old Guitarist by Picasso

This is "Old Guitarist" by Picasso. In terms of content and meaning, my interpretation is that the image is overall meant to signify old age, and the many negative thoughts we have about elderly people. It seems odd to see an old man playing a guitar, right? But there he is in the painting - he is old and feeble and half falling over, but he is playing the guitar. His old age is not stopping him from playing it. The color scheme is all deep blue, except for the guitar. The man seems depressed and isolated, sitting on the floor alone in this dreary atmosphere, but he is still managing to play the guitar (his hands don't seem physically unable to play it), and the guitar is the only non-blue object in the entire piece. I think this means that this man leads an isolated and dreary life because he is elderly, and elderly people are often thought of as "useless" - seeing a very old person still working seems strange to most people. I remember reading an article that said that once people retire, their health declines, and this is because they're bodies are responding to their mental state - that they are now "useless". Depression, and a lack of an active lifestyle, will physically deteriorate you at least as much as simply being "old". I think the man in the painting is depressed because society has deemed him as old and useless, which he does not understand, because he is still able to do something he loved even as a young man - playing guitar.

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