1967, Mardi, 21.11.67
Pablo Picasso

In the twilight of his life, Pablo Picasso, with his eyes glimmering with a playful spark and adorned with a mischievous grin, conjures his alter ego through the medium of felt-tip pen—a figure both bearded and reminiscent of a satyr. This period marked an extraordinary resurgence of vigor within Picasso, as he ventured deep into his eighties, manifesting through a self-portrait that captures the compelling intensity of the artist’s gaze. The portrait, abstract and rich in detail, unfolds through a dance of intricate, curling lines, symbolizing a transformation almost mythical in essence. Executed with a brisk, emphatic grace, Picasso’s use of curvilinear motifs—short, curved lines, spirals, and seamless waves—crafts a visage that vibrates with life. Amidst this tempest of lines that sketch out wrinkles and hair, the eyes stand as beacons, often wide and penetrating, inviting the viewer into a direct confrontation.

The visage bears primal features: a scarred upper lip and flared nostrils evoke the semblance of a beast, hinting at a simian quality that blurs the line between the human and the mythological—a theme recurrent in Picasso’s work, drawn to the interplay of lightness and gravity, of comedy and tragedy. Beyond the playful facade and self-reflective caricature, Picasso reveals himself with an honesty that is both raw and tender. In this metaphorical self-presentation, he acknowledges the encroaching shadows of age with a charming humility and self-effacing humor. This portrait, then, is not just a whimsical exploration of identity but a profound acceptance of life’s inevitable progression, presented through the unique prism of Picasso’s artistic genius.

Graphite pencil on cardboard
33 × 25.5 cm
Signed and dated by the artist
Frame included