Bust of a Man
Mougins, May 15, 1965
Oil on canvas
61x 50 cm
Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso, Madrid. On temporary loan to the Museo Picasso Málaga
In Picasso’s production of the early 1960s, following his decision to settle permanently close to the Mediterranean Sea surrounded by a small circle of professional friends and family, it is common to see expressions of the fullness of everyday life. Picasso looked at himself in the mirror of longevity searching for the image of an entire life devoted to art, its history and its future. In portraits of this type, which could be seen as projections of a distant self, the painted subject suggests messages written on the face of a man who dissolves in the vulnerability of the gesture.
‘It’s completely different the way other people see you and the way you see yourself in a mirror at certain moments. Several times in my life, I happened to catch an expression on my face that I’ve never been able to find in any of my portraits. And they may have been my truest expressions. Someone ought to make a hole in a mirror so that the lens can capture your most intimate face unawares.’
[Picasso in conversation with Brassaï, rue des Grands-Augustins, Paris, 27 April 1944, quoted in Brassaï, Conversations with Picasso, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2002, p. 165]
What was happening in 1965?
- Picasso tries to stop the publication in France of ‘Life with Picasso’, a memoir written by Françoise Gilot and Carlton Lake.
- The first US troops are sent to fight in Vietnam.
- The Doors and PinkThe activist Malcolm X is assassinated in New York.Floyd bands are created.
- Playwright and poet Thomas S. Eliot dies in London.