Thursday, September 8, 2011

Picasso's Match

The New DeYoung Museum Pond African Player in Golden Gate Park
When I emerged from the Picasso show at The New DeYoung Museum -- Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris -- i thought nothing could surprise me as much as what I had just seen. Not only was the major exhibition a feast of riches, but the fairly deserted upper galleries held further keys to El Maestro's inspiration -- great African masks that boggle minds now as they did when exhibited in Paris a hundred years ago.
As i left, heading toward the north side of the Park to leave, i came across this scene at the pond beside the museum: a man from Africa playing a gourd-banjo with finger-plucked keys. He sang a plaintive, steady song full of rhythm and an insistent melody, while an artist perched on the rim of the pond sketched him.
At that moment, with those people, in this City, Picasso may have met his match.

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