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SERIOUS FUN

December 17th, 2020

 

Did Picasso take color and form seriously, or does it seem he had more fun with what he did?  As with so many things, the answer is clearly not an either/or but rather both.  Yet, we are oft to stick to a script in order to fit the occasion.

 

We might put a situation with more sensitivity in it up on the chopping block and ask: is it ok to laugh at a funeral?

 

Many are apt to think that laughter at a funeral is cruel.  But of course our choice of adjective here is key.  Though the flashy and overused adjective is often rightfully subjugated to harsh dealing in the world of writing, it is an act of definition, and one that can be decisive.  Platonic love, motherly love, and romantic love are certainly all very different things…or at least we generally hope so.  The question flips back on to the funeral situation: exactly what sort of laughter are we talking about?

 

Suddenly laughter seems to indicate one of two extreme opposite responses at a funeral, signally that either the person passed was so vile that the passing is a cruel and tragic relief or that the person now gone inspired such good times that it’s simply impossible to ignore just how wonderful life has been because of that person.

 

We generally goad one another to take things seriously to ensure that the important bits aren’t missed.  Like a beloved movie that we try to show a friend who has never seen it.  Stop joking around, you’ll miss this part! 

 

Picasso’s early start in the world of art fits in perfectly, even here with the example of friends watching a film.  Picasso trained in his craft for many years before he started innovating.  In short, he learned the rules so that he knew exactly how they could be broken.  We’ve heard this sort of thing before, but then why doesn’t it follow that anyone who ‘breaks the rules’ ends up creating something beautiful or magnificent? The likely answer is that there exists a deeper set of rules, or principles that are not captured by the normal, straightforward rules of learning how to - for example - draw and depict for in space with shape and color.  Learning perspective and measurement in order to make a piece of art come to life in a realistic way absolutely must be done in accord to certain rules regarding how it’s done.  But these rules do not capture deeper and more ethereal aspects of human experience like beauty.  But by thoroughly learning and exercising the discovered rules of any craft or art, the time spent eventually evokes something deeper about what can be done within the realm being explored.  In short, we take things seriously in order to get good, but in order to get great, it’s imperative to figure out how to have fun.


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Podcast Ep. 977: Serious Fun

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