“Girl Before a Mirror” by Pablo Picasso, 1932 | MoMA Education

“Girl Before a Mirror” by Pablo Picasso, 1932 | MoMA Education


– Hi. My name is Grace Hwang and I’m an educator here
for school programs. For a student that hasn’t really been introduced to modern art, I think this painting can
be a little bit challenging. Usually for students, I try
to break it down for them, to see that Picasso here
is really interested in taking a human body
and translating it into colors and shapes. Your eye starts to look for
things that are familiar, like oh, I see a face, I see some eyes and then slowly, these different shapes kind of come together and then, you see, like there’s this mirror and I think that’s really interesting, that moment of discovery for them when they’re like, “This is a girl and she’s
looking at the mirror “and the mirror is telling her “something different from real life.” She looks really sad or she
doesn’t like what she sees or it’s showing her her true emotions and it’s really exciting because that is a direct
interpretation and I ask them, “Well, how did you get there?” Ya know, we start
talking about the colors. They’re so dark. Her eyes no longer have pupils. They’re sort of sunken and deep set. The discovery that I’ve made
in just studying this painting is the background, this crazy
diamond and circle pattern, of it being a harlequin pattern and knowing that Picasso himself, thought of himself as like
a trickster or a harlequin. And so, that the background
is a metaphor for Picasso. When the students can go there, I’ll offer that bit of information as a discovery that I’ve
made myself through research and it’s just really interesting because, you know, maybe for some kids, they’re like, “That’s too out there. “That’s crazy. I’m just
gonna stick with like, “this is the girl, this is
how she perceives herself, “and that’s what it means for me.” And then some people will be like, “Oh, this is how Picasso
perceives this woman, “young woman looking at
herself in the mirror.” What I love about art,
especially modern art, is that it meets you where you are. Like, if you’re ready to go there, it’ll invite you to come in. And if you just wanna
keep, stay where you are, it’ll say, I’m with you there too.

7 Comments

  • ReliableInsider

    December 30, 2013

    It is a very dark portrait. 

    Reply
  • Maria Ivonne Galarza

    February 3, 2014

    Que chico

    Reply
  • Trish Hundhausen

    October 9, 2014

    I really like your interpretation. All my life, I have loved this painting, and you mentioned things that I hadn't thought of or considered before. Gives a whole other profound dimension, and makes me love it all the more. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Melissa Rosario

    November 12, 2015

    I love it very colorful and orginal

    Reply
  • Francis Mudonhi

    October 13, 2017

    Picasso was my dad

    Reply
  • Genaro E. Medrano

    December 4, 2017

    Pablo Picasso My Inspiration….Gem

    Reply
  • Daniel Brice Reid

    November 11, 2018

    Mirror the image itself at the center, and the rest of his paintings for that matter.

    Reply

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