7 Reasons Pablo Picasso’s La Lecture Is Not Worth £25M
Last night, Pablo Picasso’s alleged masterpiece, La Lecture, sold at Sotherby’s for just over £25M. Twenty. Five. Million. Pounds. Now, I know art is subjective, but how?! There is so much wrong with it. So much. Let’s start with seven:
1. Lines. Seriously, if I had paid £25M for a painting I would at least expect the artist to be able to draw a straight line. I assume – which given the state of this picture is probably a dangerous thing to do – that the thing behind this girl is a chair. Well what the bloody hell is going on with the top of it? If you struggle to line things up get a ruler. And rulers did exist in 1932. I’ve checked.
2. Perspective. This picture would make much more sense if we could only see one half of the girl’s face. Instead of that we have something that clearly inspired the formation of gypsies.
3. Nose. Good gracious it’s a big one. Too big I would wager. The bridge of one’s nose usually ends in line with the eyes, this poor girl’s nose ends somewhere at the top of her forehead. Which raises two questions. One, is this an accurate portrayal of the young girl? Two, if it is why on earth wouldn’t Picasso have chosen someone better looking? You may think I am shallow for saying that, but paintings do not have personality. They simply don’t. And anyone who says, “I just adore the personality of this piece,” is a prick.
4. Neck. The last time I saw a neck like this, Gladstone Small was playing for England. I am beginning to wonder if Picasso really did like this girl? The big freak.
5. Breast. That’s right, just the one. At least I assume it’s supposed to be a breast. It might well be a ring doughnut. Or a bagel. Or perhaps the fire alarm fell off the wall. I know art is supposed to leave something to the imagination, but this takes the biscuit. Ooh, perhaps it’s a Jammie Dodger.
6. Time + Materials. I think that is a fair way to establish how much a painting is worth. So let’s have a look at La Lecture. These are only rough calculations, but I would guess the following: Time spent painting = eight minutes. Cost of crayons = £3.49. A brilliant artist could probably get away with charging £2,500/hour. Judging by the above, I would say Picasso could get away with charging £2.50/hour. So I reckon La Lecture is probably worth about £3.82. That’s about £25M less than it sold for. It’s a difficult one to explain to the wife.
7. Morals. I question the morality of the buyer here. This painting depicts the image of Marie-Therese Walter, Picasso’s 17 year old extramarital lover. That’s not right. In fact it’s wrong. If Picasso wanted to get his end away with a teenage girl he could at least have had the decency to divorce his wife first. There is no excuse for sleeping behind people’s backs. And, judging by the expression on Walter’s face that is exactly what had happened about five minutes before Picasso whipped out the crayons. By allowing the sale of this painting for £25M what are we saying? It’s okay to sleep around so long as you produce a bunch of distorted lines afterwards? Sad times.