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The Artist

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

Looking at the contrasting colors splashed onto the canvas and the cartoonish figure that any elementary student could paint, I thought: "Would I take this seriously if the artist wasn’t named Picasso?" Some months ago, during a family day, we visited a museum showing the works of the celebrated founder of the Cubist movement. It was a fun outing, not so much for the art itself but rather the commentary it provided for my humorous wife and kids.

Art and music are the most subjective fields of man’s creative endeavors, and I am certainly not trained as an art critic; but, I wonder how many people honestly enjoy art that's so abstract that they need to be told what it's supposed to mean? Personally, I’m not crazy about art that violates the laws of composition, proportions, color harmonies, light, shadow, and perspective. Which brings me back to Picasso.

To put it simply, I believe the primitive scribbles of Picasso are valued so highly not so much for their beauty or novelty but for the artist himself. I think this could be proven. There is a young man that stands almost daily on the Scaligero Bridge here in Verona trying to sell his drawings. In the hundreds of times that I have passed him, I have seen maybe one of his pieces purchased, and that probably more out of pity for the man than appreciation for his work. I believe if you took some of this young man’s art and some of Picasso’s lesser-known abstract works and displayed them for the public, the vast majority of people could not distinguish between the two. And yet the man on the bridge asks 10 euro for his work whereas a Picasso is worth millions. This is not a treatise on how much "artistic talent" or "innovation" actually determines the value of any work of art. Rather, it is my contention, for whatever reason an artist becomes renowned as an artist, it is the artist himself that gives the work its value.

As I was looking at what I presumed to be a "dancing goat-boy" by Picasso, my thoughts turned to the young man on the bridge and eventually to my Creator, concluding that it is the Artist himself that gives value to his work. Regardless of a person’s looks, abilities, intelligence, political-views, religious convictions or lack thereof, lovability or "hate-ability", they have intrinsic value and worth because of the Artist who made them in His own image. The worth of every soul is of such value that Christ asked what possibly could be given in exchange for it? The Father esteemed the value of the soul of such worth that he sent his only begotten Son to die as a substitute to redeem it. In seeing the intrinsic value of another’s life given to them by their Creator, we should love them as Christ loves them, seek to reach them with the gospel, desire that they find their identity in Christ, and encourage them to live that identity out in their daily life through the power of the Holy Spirit, all to the glory of the Grand Artist who made them.

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Genesis 1:27
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