Happy new year and welcome back to the main story! I don’t have too much to say plot-wise here, so instead let’s talk some Picasso and look at a picture!

This is the 1907 Les Demoiselles d’Avignon – originally a relatively typical piece which Picasso radically reworked after catching the tribal art bug from the Fauves and the collectors they hung out with. It’s Picasso at his shamanistic best, I think – art that bites and frightens and has something to say beyond its own formal innovations.
That’s not always the case with Picasso. There’s a lot of this in there too, where he’s opening up possibilities of material and form without quiiiiiiite knowing what to do with them:

Compare this to a piece by Georges Braque from a year earlier – similar but Braque seems to me to have a clearer sense of why he’s painting this particular thing:

But to be fair, every time Picasso meandered he came back, generally by walking over the wreckage of somebody whose life he ruined, but back he came:

– Count Dolby von Luckner