Pablo Picasso is famous for a great many things- his Blue Period, Cubism, being quite an ass hole with a mean infidelity streak, etc. His artistic legacy and impact are hard to overstate, the guy was the de facto leader of the 20th century art world and one of those rare artists that were as famous alive as they are dead. Despite that, I’d bet dollars to donuts that even though you could think of a half dozen of his paintings off the top of your head you barely have any conception of how the guy looked. This is a tragedy to be corrected because Pablo was a man of tastes we ought emulate this summer.
Back in his early days in the beginning of his career he, like most men, wore some degree of tailored clothing on the regular. Even being an artist didn’t excuse you from neckties. In his later years, however, the guy was a beach bum living in a completely unbothered style. He’d achieved great fame and great wealth, and he did the only sane thing to do- chill out in a permanent vacation, possibly make a million dollar painting when the spirit moved him.
Okay, I’m simplifying things here. Pablo did have a pretty interesting and dynamic life that has been examined to death by more scholarly sources than me, so I won’t be diving into the biography here. What we’re going to discuss is how he dressed as unbothered as he lived and (possibly despite himself but who knows, the guy’s ego was legendary) that he’s a perfect model for how to dress for summer.
Check out his summer style and tell me there’s anything you’d do better. Short shorts, bold patterns, terry cloth and Breton shirts if any shirt at all, it’s all the things you’d wear if your life is nothing but beaches and bistros. What’s more is that the clothes are well-fitting but hardly tailored to death. Some things will fit larger or smaller, it’s how you live in them that’ll dictate your stylishness. And live in them he did! I don’t know, maybe the guy had a hundred pairs of the same swimsuit, but it sure looks like he basically left shit on the floor at the end of one day and put it all back on at the start of the next. Creases, rumples, whatever, they add to the style when you’re talking about a summer of bumming around and futzing with art projects.
Unlike a lot of noted celebrities or whatnot, artists outside the performing arts come in all shapes in sizes. You’re guaranteed to get a bevy of glitzy actors or musicians with winning smiles, long legs, and great chins. When you’re a painter that shit factors in way less, so Picasso looked way more like a regular schmo than a movie star. He was squart, barrel chested, and he looked his 91 years when he passed away. The clothing choices of someone who is undoubtedly stylish – he was an artist, he clearly cared about aesthetics – but who isn’t some picture-ready adonis is better inspiration to those among us whose midsections are more keg than six pack or who caps out at 5’4” (Picasso’s listed height).
That sounds way more mean to the man than I meant, the guy was still pretty handsome! But seeing the louche way the guy wore his clothes while seeming to be, unless I told you otherwise, just another old man unbuttoning his shirt to a savage degree is way more inspiring than seeing some model do the same.
I realize not all of us have the privilege of being a world-famous artist and the defiant ego that comes along with that, but I challenge any and all of you to do summer with Pablo-like confidence. Be unbothered, do some fun projects, show off that belly. Just maybe tone down the womanizing. You didn’t paint Guernica, so you’re not going to to get away with it.