Life

I just came back from the Met. I went with a friend to see the Gaudí to Dalí exhibit. It’s very worth the while, especially if you’re into the history of Spanish art after the Impressionism era. Something weird happen though, as always with me and art, while I saw a blue phase painting by Picasso (1904) called Life


it immediately reminded me of a painting by Toti (my grandfather) done during his period of black paintings. A couple of weeks ago his sister gave back some of his paintings to my grandmother, for her to distribute among her children. As it turns out she thought this one had some sort of hidden message to it and, being myself so spiritual (as she put it), she decided she wanted me to have it. So my parents took a picture of it and sent it my way so that I could see it.


We’ve been trying to figure out what this painting means, who the women are, if they resemble different periods in a person’s life, if they’re departing, who is the person taking the little girl, and why is he/she taking her away.

As it turns out Picasso’s painting is also an unresolved mystery. No one truly knows what the image represents. But it seems to portray different stages on a man’s life, which you can kind of see, from birth (baby and mom) to death (the curled up image in the center).

Toty’s painting seems a little less obvious to me and to other family members who have been trying to figure it out as well. Is the person taking the girl a man or a woman? Is it death? Is it Christ? Is the women left behind sad? Mad? Hurt? Why is she holding her chest/heart with her left hand? Why is her dress half white and half blue? What is that gesture she’s making with her right hand? This painting doesn’t have a title, as so many of Toty’s pictures, so we’ll just have to ask him what it all means and what it represented for him then. Or maybe be content with whatever we come up with.

I have a theory of my own and it has to do with premonitions of events that happened a few years after this picture was painted. But I was just wondering what do you think it might represent?

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8 responses to “Life

  1. Art is probably one of the most powerful forces we don’t have to explain! I tend to enjoy artifacts-beautifully made ancient vases, sculptures, decorative metal objects, etc. More technical, less abstract, but when you think of the time it took, with the technology available….

  2. UUuufff!… That’s awesome!

  3. hi JenI think the painting is a mother selling her daughter,and it is a manwith a big hand taking her away. :-)I´ll would like to ask you if you know about a “story” about citibank not having any banks in 5 countries only ? Mike

  4. It looks to me like a child being taken away from her mother, though perhaps I’m missing much of the symbolism.

  5. oooh, i want to go to that exhibit, thanks for reminding me! would love to see the toty painting up close, read the facial expressions better.

  6. you go to the museum so much!! i love it.

  7. buffalodickdy – that’s one of the things I love about art, it just is, no explanation needed… although sometimes you just can;t but speculate what the artist was thinking.clau – it is!mike – that just might be it!joe – yep, I think the higher bets are on that explanation. bex – you’re welcome, you should go, it’s great! Once I have the painting with me I’ll let you know, so that you can see it up close.pinknest – I love it too! : )

  8. Hmm Jen that might be easy to c as ananswer on both my questions, could you tell me which 5 then ? 4 me at least :-)Mike

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