November 2004

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15 November - Halloween and Picasso

A few days before we left for Europe we went to the Batesons for Halloween. Marty did an elaborate Haunted House as always, and it was really fun to help out. Luckily I had a really scary mask, so it wasn't that hard to scare people. The Batesons had thrown a big party with lots of yummies, so I was never hungry and ... I got to scare a lot of people. Marty had set up a Haunted House in the garage. There was a straight section, then a corner where Marty would be, ready to pounce in his skeleton suit. After people were scared by him, the path turned around and into a zig-zag, where I was. Before me was a mock up of a body with a Freddy Krueger mask. People, girls in particular, would round the corner, and think that the puppet was a person ready to jump on them. When they realized that the puppet was probably fake they rounded my corner, with their eyes on the puppet, just to make sure it didn't jump on the any way. They would turn around and see me, they'd shriek and run back around the corner. For the whole time I was still and like a puppet, so that they would think I was fake. Finally they would walk past slowly, then I would jump toward them and yell “RAAAAAGHH”. I got one girl so bad that she fell into the fake puppet, and almost knock down the hay walls! This was one of the best Halloweens ever.

While we were in Europe we went to “La Piscine” in Rouen, France for a day. This is a museum made from an old swimming pool. The pool has been redesigned with a platform around the actual indoor pool, and there were lots of statues from the 16-20 centuries in that area. Around the platform there were changing rooms going up 3 levels that had been changed into some sort of display rooms. You could see a variety of arts, including textile paintings, fashion designs, and even a history of shoes! They also had a gallery of old ink-paintings of a large variety of animals. I think it was cool that there was a museum built in an old pool building, because this setting really added to the atmosphere. While we visited, the museum had an special exhibit with a lot of Picasso's original artwork. This trip has really enforce my view of Picasso as a man who lets out his energy into his work, creating wild and fun to look at pieces of art. My favorite was an embossed plate with a crazy face on it. His pottery was probably the wackiest of all his art, and I read in Encyclopedia Brittanica “... at first glance they seem a somewhat frivolous exercise in the decoration of ordinary objects. Plates, jugs, and vases, mostly made by craftsmen at the Madoura pottery in Vallauris, were reshaped or painted, gouged out, scratched, or marked by fingerprints, and, for the most part, were rendered useless. In turning to craft, Picasso worked with a sense of liberation, experimenting with the play between decoration and form (between two and three dimensions) and between personal and universal meaning.”

Pablo Picasso was born on October the 25th 1881, in Málaga Spain. His father, José Ruiz Blasco, was an accomplished artist, but by the age of ten, Pablo had already surpassed him in many ways. Pablo Picasso had his first exhibition at the age of thirteen. Picasso had done something in almost all forms of art, from paintings, to ceramics, to sculptures, to stage designs, he did it all. When he died in 1973, he had accumulated a collection of at least 50 000 of his own pieces. During his life, Picasso made a major contribution to the development of modern art. He was one of the greatest and most influential artists the world has ever seen.