Picabia published one ofhis most
revealing dadaist statements:
“The painter makes a choice, then imitates his choice so that
the deformation constitutes the art; the choice, why not
simply sign it, in place of making like a monkey before it?
Further along in this article Picabia made still more
clear the purpose of his art, namely its responsiveness to
“Me, I would like to found a “paternal” school to discourage
young people from that which our good snobs call Art with
a capital. Art is everywhere, except with the dealers of Art,
in the temples of Art, like God is everywhere, except in the
churches Look, boredom is the worst oj maladies and my
great despair would be precisely to be taken seriously, to
become a great man, a master
He had no worries on those counts…”
Francis Picabia (Page 37)
Dada is like your hopes: nothing
like your paradise: nothing
like your idols: nothing
like your heroes: nothing
like your artists: nothing
like your religions: nothing
Francis Picabia; born Francis-Marie Martinez de Picabia, 22 January 1879 – 30 November 1953) was a French painter, poet, and typographist, associated with Cubism, Abstract art, Dada and Surrealism.
Francis Picabia was born in Paris of a French mother and a Spanish-Cuban father who was an attaché at the Cuban legation in Paris. His mother died of tuberculosis when he was seven. Some sources would have his father as of aristocratic Spanish descent, whereas others consider him of non-aristocratic Spanish descent, from the region of Galicia. Financially independent, Picabia studied under Fernand Cormon and others at the École des Arts Decoratifs in the late 1890s.
In 1894, Picabia financed his stamp collection by copying a collection of Spanish paintings that belonged to his father, switching the originals for the copies, without his father’s knowledge, and selling the originals. Fernand Cormon took him into his academy at 104 boulevard de Clichy, where Van Gogh and Toulouse-Lautrec had also studied. From the age of 20, he lived by painting; he subsequently inherited money from his mother.
- “The essence of a man is found in his faults.”
Francis Picabia: Impressionisme
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