Figures on the beach. Picasso 1931

In his long essay on kissing, the American physiologist Sveb comes to the conclusion,  that the desire to kiss arises mainly from the cells of the stomach and palate – and therefore decides the physiologist-kiss. This is a distant echo of the ogre’s instinct, which should be inherent in many primitive tribes. This note appeared in the newspaper “Moscow Leaf” on February 1, 1907. What does it have to do with the work of Picasso, created 24 years later?

The most direct. This painting has another name – “Kiss”.  And if you look at the canvas closely, it will become clear – such a kiss is really like an act of cannibalism. And this is not an empty skill, but a cruel reality. Many primitive cultures perceive a kiss in this way. English traveler William Winwood Reed described an interesting case in his work “Wild Africa”. He was accepted in one of the tribes of Gabon, and he happened to kiss the daughter of the leader. She was almost scared of dying – she thought that “a wily white man” wants to eat her.

In the picture of Picasso roles are distributed exactly the opposite. Active position is a woman, although it is not immediately understandable in the merger of bodies, which is more like a bunch of human spare parts. A woman’s eyes are open, she holds a man’s hand behind his head, while he seems to have no arms at all, there is nothing to fight off, and he closed his eyes in superstitious horror. In short, a real woman monster, the generation of hot delirium or inflamed subconscious.

” Some people see it as a condemnation of lust, others claim that it is the embodiment of passion, others see it as a personal attitude of the master to the carnal pleasures” – usually this is how they prefer to explain the idea of the artist. The reality is that Picasso makes a revolutionary statement. The role of the true aggressor, according to his point of view at the time, in the relationship between a man and a woman belongs to the latter. It is she who is the fearsome, the chthonic beginning, the monster that absorbs and devours everything, and above all – the careless men.

The most interesting thing is that from that moment until the end of his life, Picasso considered his marriage to Olga Khokhlova to be exactly what an imprudent step was.

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