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Absinthe lover - Pablo Picasso. 73x54
The 20th century, together with technological progress, personal freedom, the most bloody wars and democracy, brought loneliness and isolation. The embodiment of this state of emptiness and restlessness is this work.
A dry, brittle figure, clasping itself with its hands to completely shut itself off from the world, is immersed in illusions inspired by a wormwood tincture. In her dreams, the heroine feels comfortable. The key to some return to reality is a half-empty glass of fairies. The long thin fingers of the model, like the tentacles of a fantastic, unearthly creature, encircle the face and shoulder. She herself is like a hallucination, fuzzy and variable. In a look there is no thought, thinking, reason. Quiet contemplation, meaningless, fleeting, again and again caused by new portions of absinthe.
Upon careful examination, it is obvious that the heroine was preparing for a visit to a cafe: a flirty curl falls on her forehead, traces of makeup are hardly visible on her face. What is it? Shy hope for a change in life? Moral standards? It is impossible to answer unequivocally.
A barely perceptible smile is guessed on the yellowish face. The heroine feels comfortable in her drunken illusions. At the same time, some tension is guessed in the work.
The loneliness of the heroine is shared by a glass with a greenish potion and a blue siphon. The mirror on the wall reflects the multi-colored world from which the woman so decisively fenced off.
The color scheme of the work is very contrasting. Blue-blue fights with orange-brown. A world of illusions with reality. The lines of the figure are clear, contrasting. The environment of the figure is slightly blurry, the viewer sees it through the eyes of the heroine. A similar game with space creates the illusion of the heroine’s double presence.
Compositionally, the glass and siphon with water follow the outline of the heroine. They are like two sides of the same, inextricably linked. Such associative relations vividly characterize the entire work of the artist.
The atmosphere of the picture is saturated with a sense of struggle between reality and illusions. The tragedy of the situation is that illusions kill reality, and the heroine’s consciousness will soon be unable to bear reality, finally making a choice in favor of fantastic visions that destroy the ability to think, value, and live.
The author's position is framed clearly - anxiety and uncertainty. These two feelings, so characteristic of a man of the 20th century, are presented to the viewer in the abstract plot of one of the most expressive and concise works of the great master.