Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Les femmes d’Alger (version O)

Spanish artist, Pablo Picasso’s painting ‘Les femmes d’Alger (version O)’ was sold at Christies auction in New York, for a record $174 million dollars. This breath-taking amount of money was arrived at by bid increments of $500.000 dollars! Only a minute percentage of the world’s population could contemplate let alone participate in such a purchase. It was one of 24 lots of artwork sold that evening which brought in over $700 million dollars; the auction houses' 12.5% fees were rich pickings. The anonymous purchaser/s of this painting will have to adopt a fail-safe electronic security system to protect this investment for insurance purposes, whether it is on display or locked away in a vault. The majority of people can only imagine what it would mean to own such a valuable possession.

When I saw the painting displayed on television and some newspapers, the first thought I had was what was going through the artist’s mind when he put brush to canvas? If this painting carried the title ‘Breasts and Buttocks’ presented on a geometric design I could understand what he was imagining as he worked with the oils on this expensive form of cubist grafity. The scripture says in Proverbs ch.27 , “Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he”.

Baby Pablo was baptized a Catholic but later became an atheist. Wikipedia gives a historical view of the man and his work, one paragraph reads, ‘Picasso painted mostly from imagination or memory'. According to William Rubin, Picasso "could only make great art from subjects that truly involved him ... Unlike Matisse, Picasso had eschewed models virtually all his mature life, preferring to paint individuals whose lives had both impinged on, and had real significance for, his own." Arthur Danto said Picasso's work constitutes a "vast pictorial autobiography" that provides some basis for the popular conception that "Picasso invented a new style each time he fell in love with a new woman". The artist’s promiscuity probably occupied his mind while working on this canvas of multiple bare bosoms.

Good storytellers also have great imaginations as they paint pictures with words, creating vivid images in the hearers’ mind as they listen to the story. Jesus was brilliant with His parables, opening the minds of His hearers, using the parable like a window to let the light in. He said in Luke 12:22, “Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?” He asked his hearers to visualise in their mind’s eye the ravens and the common lilies of the field. The ravenous birds did not produce their food by sowing and reaping; God gave it to them. The lilies did not toil in labour or spin and yet they are clothed with more glory (creatoral beauty and fragrance) than Solomon.

When Paul wrote to the Romans he said, “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” When a person turns away from God their mind is open to receive all manner of corrupt things and what is dwelt upon in the mind soon becomes evident in their behaviour. Debauched imaginations soon become debauched behaviour, which God will judge.
King David said to Solomon his son in 1 Chronicles 28:9, “And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.”

Try to imagine what Heaven is like and try to imagine what an eternity in Hell will be like! God wants you to be saved and go to Heaven, you can be sure of this by asking God to forgive your sin and give you eternal life. God bless.

Written by a guest blogger for FTMP. 
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