influences: Picasso in Montreal

When I was around 15 years old, my parents took the whole family to see Pablo Picasso: Meeting in Montreal, a huge retrospective of the late artist's work at the Musée des Beaux Arts.

25 years later, I found the exhibition catalog in a used bookstore (the amazing Russell Books here in Victoria), and bought it immediately.

Growing up, we had a copy of it on the bookshelf in the living room, and every now and then I'd pull it out and browse through the essays and colour reproductions.

At the exhibit, my parents rented the audio tour for me, which consisted of a Sony Walkman (a portable cassette player, kids) with audio cues as to what painting to look at next and what you should know about it.

I still remember the commentary for the painting above, of a person playing with a ball at the beach. It talked about the triangular shaped negative space made by the figure's legs and the horizon, implying the shape of a sailboat.

This made me think about all the things you could do with art: important things, funny things, surprising things.

There was no internet back then, so having this great big Picasso book in our house was a great resource and a real treasure.

I still prefer to look at art in books rather than on the internet.