Philippe Huart exhibits the Minotaure, “Picasso 50 years already”, which pays tribute to Pablo Picasso, on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of his death.
“En Minotaure“, a masked portrait of a deity laid bare.
To create a work for the 50th anniversary of Pablo Picasso’s death is not insignificant.
Wanting to capture the essence of a man that everyone knows, an artist whose works have revolutionized and continue to feed the collective imagination for over 100 years, requires indeed to offer the viewers a part of him that we can all identify while managing to surprise us.
It is through his artistic practice based on hyperrealism that Philippe Huart, an artist of objective reality, chooses to embody the Spanish artist by approaching him from a new angle, that of the disturbing strangeness (unheimlich), a term defined by Freud to evoke the disturbance of what is both familiar and disturbing.
A hooded creature with muscular arms, crossed on a naked and hairy torso, and who seems perfectly at ease with his body and his virility, then takes shape under our eyes. Overhanging his neck, a thick bag lets guess horns pointing on the top of his skull and nostrils which choke under the too tight folds of the black plastic. This hybrid being is the Minotaur, a mythological figure that Picasso adopted in many of his paintings and drawings to represent his own sexual ardor and creative instinctive impulses.
Another singular detail, the handle of the plastic bag, which usually never appears in Philippe Huart’s paintings, underlines the ephemerality of its presence. Are we faced with the facetious Picasso who liked to dress up in many masks (bulls’ heads made of straw or primitive African masks) as if to better hide himself or, on the contrary, are we faced with a complex and fragile artist who accepts to lay himself bare?
The answer probably lies in the hand that is revealed on the left of the painting. Adorned with a wedding ring, it symbolizes the love that Picasso had for the women who marked his life and confirms that it is indeed the duality of the man, the one who knows how to be tender despite his bestiality, which is personified here.
“En Minotaure“ is thus a work that not only links the worlds of these two artists with an aesthetic power mixed with great sensitivity but also appears as a fascinating support for introspection in the face of the mazes of the mind and the human soul.
Philippe Huart, Minotaure, Oil on canvas, 130 x 97 cm