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Pablo Picasso In Shorts

Summer is over. Not officially but, in many ways, officially.

As today is my first day back at school for the second year of my MFA, I am mourning the end of summer before Labor Day, before the first day of autumn, before the season has actually ended. So how should we celebrate? By looking at someone who looked great in shorts.

Today we turn to one stylish devil: the omnipresent, the overwritten and deeply flawed, the neo-expressionist icon, Pablo Picasso. Did you know he was a shorts wearing diva? He was. Take a look!

The image that started it all, a photo I found on Pinterest that features the artist with model and muse Bettina Graziani. It’s a photo that we could easily describe as jaunty and makes you want to go lay in the sun and look at art. I’d love to live in this image and wear this outfit, the little cardigan with the beautiful brown shorts and linen shirt with intense leather sandals. If only. If only.

A similar image to the aforementioned, we get a little red on red action from his studio. What is so great about this outfit is that it controls the chaos in the room, of a studio run amok. It’s me as I stand with my back facing the school year, getting ready to wander into the mess that I made of my art.

I wish, wish, wish this photo were in color. There’s a lot of interesting textures and tones both on him and the art and, really, it’s all about the shorts here. Are they a sort of proto taffeta? Are they a canvas? What are they? I would love to know (and then grab them up for myself).

Yes, this photo is a bit of a mess in terms of quality and appears to be a very late-in-life Picasso. Big open Ina Garten shirt, almost non-existent olive shorts, and a whole lot of legs: this is how I’d love to age with shorts. No history of misogyny, no, but his style, for sure.

I’m not really a fan of this image since it seems to put the artist’s worst qualities forward: his crotch, his manliness, his putting you down. It does give you a nice look at his shoes and shorts though which might be a little more complex and slightly dated than previously perceived. I’d love to swap the clunky feet for a sandal something as the combination of the t-shirt and structured short is a very compelling one.

You won’t believe me but he’s in costume. He’s literally Popeye. What a loon.

While many of these photos are in his studio, the funny thing about such photos is that they feature the artist without a speck of paint on his body. He likely didn’t paint wearing these specific outfits but it does make me wonder: where are those paint splattered shorts? I want them.

A peek at the structured short up close: they’re mustard. Would you have guessed that? I wouldn’t have. They also make you wonder: are they actually swimmers or amphibious or just the scenery offering a suggestion? Who knows.

As we come to a close, the artist – like me – faces the mess that comes with the end of summer: getting back to life. Ah, Picasso you flawed short loving dude: thank you for the style lesson. You were a terror whose style I will appropriate, from the linen shirts to the tailored yet baggy bottoms.

Bye summer! See you next year! Unless global warming keeps you forever! Please go away! See you after I graduate!

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