An activity to build on your visit to the Picasso and American Art exhibition
A great way to wind up a family visit to the Walker is to reflect on the artists you saw by making some masterpieces of your own. The Picasso and American Art exhibit shows a wide variety of portraits by both Picasso and many American artists, like Roy Lichtenstein, Jackson Pollock and Max Weber to name a few. What you may notice is the way that these artists divide, rebuild, and fragment the figures in their portraits.
During a Summer’s Cool class called Paint like Picasso students learned to emulate Picasso by creating several self portraits and then cutting them apart and reassembling the pieces to create a new work of art. Here’s how it works:
Step 1: Grab a mirror and make faces (lots of faces); the more variety in the faces the more variety in your final work of art. After studying your face, make several (4-5) black outline (contour line) paintings of those faces you can make. Let them dry. (Black markers or crayons will work too if you can’t make a mess!)
Step 2: Add Color. Fill in the white space with creative colors. Think about Picasso’s palette; in his paintings people certainly weren’t limited to natural skin tones and realistic colors. Let them dry.
Step 3: Cut them up, yes, cut them up. These can be in various shapes and sizes, but it seems to work well to cut each face into 5 or 6 average size pieces.
Step 4: Put them back together. Use a larger piece of paper to reconnect your shapes in a new way and there you have it your very own Picasso inspired masterpiece!
Many thanks to artist Jennifer Nevitt for teaching the class and developing this fun project; to Ariane Smith our fabulous Family Programs intern, for assisting the class and writing up this post; and to Antonia Ukofia, yet another wonderful Family Programs intern, who made the images above.
Here are some example projects made by kids in the Paint Like Picasso class: