People who are consistent are well-liked. Those who are fickle and change often are hard to trust. Consistency involves steadiness and faithfulness. Francis Picabia was an artist far from consistent. His style changed whenever there was a new art form. He didn’t only paint but wrote poems, got involved in movies, and published magazines. He was far from being consistent. Do you think he was successful?
Francis Picabia who was born in Paris graduated from an art college and made impressionism paintings at first. Then, he fell for cubism, which emerged as avant-garde art in 1909, switched to abstract painting, and became a key member of Dadaism after he met Marcel Duchamp. He then turned his attention to surrealism after 1921 and focused on making collages that represented the machine age. Then, he went back to figurative art in 1925 and produced his ‘Monsters’ series. The portrait is one of them. The couple in the painting looks bizarre and ridiculous. The man in a grey suit hugs the woman and tries to kiss her while she pushes him away. She has two left pupils as if trying to emphasize her surprise. The man’s nose is abnormally large and his eye is drawn vertically. The title of the painting implies the two just met. She must feel flustered by the guy who was so aggressive during the first meeting.
A relationship that moves too fast tends to fizzle away quickly. Art must have been like that to Picabia. He fell hard and fast for new styles – impressionism, cubism, Dadaism, surrealism, figurative painting, and abstractionism – and quickly got tired of them.
However, there is no worthless experience. Picabia who constantly chased new things eventually earned fame for his own unique style that combined everything. In fact, he was consistent in the fact that he always disregarded the norms and customs of the established art and tried new changes. He was an artist who proved that changes are needed to not fall behind, like Picasso.