reading Picasso – cubist into entopic graphomania

Dora Maar – Portrait of Pablo Picasso (1936) -Oil on canvas – 65×54.5 cm

I happened upon a cubist portrait, that gave me an idea for another composition sequence. When I went to check the source, and identify the image, I discovered, as happens on the internet, there had been an error/vague attribution made.

The cubist portrait was not done by Picasso, but was of Picasso. The actual artist was Dora Maar.

Henriette Theodora Markovitch (22 November 1907 – 16 July 1997), known as Dora Maar, was a French photographer, painter, and poet. A partner of Pablo Picasso, Maar was depicted in a number of Picasso’s paintings, including his Portrait of Dora Maar and Dora Maar au Chat.

Tiyana Williams’s Reflection Essay – Dora Maar  presents an excellent account of Maar’s artwork and how it has been underappreciated, like many women artists.


Maar’s Portrait of Picasso is done in his style, but she brings qualities to the work that reflect her own sensibilities. I was taken by the portrait, and had one of my silly notions. I attempted to sketch out the portrait as an entopic graphomania text.

An old handout about determining reading comprehension levels was used as the base of this exercise. As a consequence, as I coloured in, and then digitally modified the composition it became a metatextual asemic piece – a piece of writing about literacy that evolves/devolves into deconstructed text.

It also becomes a reflection on how we interpret/read artists, like Picasso and Maar. Maar’s career as a photographer and painter, along with her identity and self-image, were overwritten by Picasso. She had to struggle to regain that, and even today many can recognize Picasso’s name, and either know Maar only in the context of his work and life, or not recognize her at all. Hence the misidentification of her portrait of him.


Asemic Snapshot – Kiki de Montparnas(se)

Alice Ernestine Prin (2 October 1901 – 29 April 1953), nicknamed the Queen of Montparnasse, and often known as Kiki de Montparnasse, was a French artist’s model, literary muse, nightclub singer, actress, memoirist and painter. She flourished in, and helped define, the liberated culture of Paris in the 1920s.

Man Ray’s seminal 1926 image Noir et Blanche (one of the most important & influential examples of surreal photography), and its reverse negative print, depicting Man Ray’s muse Kiki de Montparnasse, her pale face resting on a table and her hand holding up a wooden African mask whose beatific expression she is mimicking. The duo had met in 1921, when Man Ray, allured by the actress and singer’s “cute accent and air of mystery”, had asked her to pose for him. The pair lived together for a time as lovers but eventually separated, although Montparnasse continued to model for him on and off for many years. – (Behind Man Ray’s Seminal Photograph of Kiki de Montparnasse)


Noir et Blanche Courtesy of Taschen


A Meeting of Minds

Samuel Pepys, wrote John Evelyn, was ‘universally beloved, hospitable, generous, learned in many things’ and ‘skilled in music’. John Evelyn, wrote Pepys, ‘must be allowed … for a little conceitedness; but he may well be so, being a man so much above others’. Pepys’s assessment of Evelyn was made early in their relationship, in 1665, and Evelyn’s assessment of Pepys was made on the day that his fellow diarist died, in 1703. So rest the reputations of our two great recorders of Restoration England: Pepys, the middle-class son of a tailor, was a man of the people; Evelyn, the heir of a country gentleman, was a notch or two above.


Source: Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn: a meeting of like minds | The Spectator


A Dadaist Fairy Tale


People notch Poppies on zero trees – spy silver buttercups;

He wrote a day’s miles like this.

There in the middle class … in six sieves was a fiance’s consciousness. The person I loved, slept and learned.


In each Lyndon recorder, a constantly yellow pasta man by the forest was written in prose.

He or she is a “universal need” in John’s generous ocean. There was a middle class … the heart of the groom was in six corners.


Our musical relationship with rust is ours to dance –

let time hammer out the edges of our days.


The reason why he wanted to make this work the strongest was the claim that this research was not a controversy, but actually a taboo.

The descent brings mystery,

So the dead apparition of Vermilion Motion is born –


This is an atmospheric aria of forgotten tranquility, that comes to us from a lost age of magic and wonder.

Why was there a yellow stick?

The remaining creatures move only one.

I want to rust.

A glittering and long shining jungle writes taboos in the palm of your hand, as I thank my friends.

A good gentleman,

In that, and quite deeply –

finds a comfortable experience of bread-lid bedrooms.


Erythrocyte pebbles light pyres at the feet in my sand. Who is in each area?

Those that say they love lovers, and the swamp.


This is an atmospheric aria of forgotten tranquility, that comes to us from a lost age of happenstance and enchantment.


Now Go – this is the search query corner class –


ask Other Eyes, the tailor threads fate in your pockets.