“The chief enemy of creativity…

…is common sense.”

Pablo Picasso, as photographed by Irving Penn

The Picasso, Richard J. Daley Center, Chicago

Newspaper columnist Mike Royko, covering the unveiling of the sculpture, wrote: “Interesting design, I’m sure. But the fact is, it has a long stupid face and looks like some giant insect that is about to eat a smaller, weaker insect.”

Royko did credit Picasso with understanding the soul of Chicago.  “Its eyes are like the eyes of every slum owner who made a buck off the small and weak. And of every building inspector who took a wad from a slum owner to make it all possible…. You’d think he’d been riding the L all his life.”


Personally, I feel this sculpture was Picasso’s self-portrait.  Here’s what he drew in 1972:

Picasso Self-Portrait, 1972

When viewed from the sculpture’s left side, half way to its back, this is what I saw many years ago, when studying the Picasso for the first time…

…an obvious male profile can be readily identified.

Typical of Picasso’s later works, the sculpture, when viewed from directly behind, is asymmetrical…again reinforced via the 1972 self-portrait.  The themes of gauntness, elongation, curves and recurring lines evidently anchored themselves in Picasso’s brain as he aged.