Pain has its reasons, pleasure is totally indifferent.

As an avant-garde virtuoso with a history of rubbing shoulders with various subcategories of art, the man known as Francis Picabia was a heretic of all artistic conformities. This disposition caused him to abandon and then switch styles faster than the Earth’s seasonal patterns. In Picabia’s lifetime, the artwork he produced paralleled with Surrealism, Impressionism, CubismDadaism, and other forms that end with -ism. But I feel a singular theme of mythical, invisible forces is subjective to all of Picabia’s most famous transparencies and drawings. Interconnection between souls and spirituality linger upon the surface of his distorted, mirror-image take on reality.

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This painting above depicts a cynically feminine face with upturned eyes and full lips that, similar to a Russian nesting doll, possesses a fragment of another woman inside except this one has a far more organic expression. The outer shell is cracking down the middle to reveal the inner figuration of the woman- who is conveyed as the central consciousness and personality. Her character is morally tired, sacrificing her true nature for her fake, outer demeanor- which is a mere masque in attempt for conformity and thus, acceptance. This speaks on a feminist issue of idealism when it comes to representation in front of others, and an internal conflict that the woman in the painting has is unfortunately reminiscent of what many girls experience.

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Ecstasy is the primary component of Francis Picabia’s raw drawings that shimmer with just one or two color tones. Pictured above, for example, is a nude woman with an overlay of a closer snapshot- both with give off demeanors of glory or enlightenment. The giant hands curl through the image and softly pinch the nose of one frame and the breast of the other, leaving viewers with a confusing yet soft atmosphere.

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In this portrait, two lovers engulf themselves in an intimate embrace while it’s as if their eyes gaze into another world of some kind. Partial interdependence from the couple only strengthen the image’s warmth. There is such a strong partnership between these people that their spirits are inclined to conjoin almost in an out-of-body experience, such as astral projection. Despite whatever circumstance this scene is erected from, their souls yearn to be connected in balanced harmony.

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