A Man Walks into a Bar: Two Women Sitting at a Bar

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Pablo Picasso, Two Women Sitting at a Bar, 1902

A Man Walks Into a Bar
By ELLIE SCHNEIDER

The painting, made up of multiple hues of blue, is one example of Picasso’s blue period work. Just like in Brack’s painting, the two women in this painting are drinking their troubles away. We know this because, during his blue period, Picasso was depressed. Picasso once said, “colors, like features, follow the changes of emotions,” so it is no surprise that his blue period contained his saddest works. Other works from his blue period are The Blue Room (1901), La Vie (1903) and The Old Guitarist (1904). Picasso’s ability to create amazing works with just one color is fascinating. Similar to Matisse’s Red Studio and Saygi’s Pembe Kahve, the blue fills the canvas. Unlike those two works, Picasso’s painting is not swallowed by the blue because he varies the shades of blue he uses. This helps the viewer tell the difference between the shapes, while still portraying the somber mood of the painting.

The two women sit, looking away from each other. This represents their individual misery or solace. They are sitting together, and yet, each appears extremely lonely.

We only see one glass. Are they sharing? Where is the bartender? What are they drinking? These are all logical questions to ask when seeing this work of art, but those are not the questions Picasso wants from us. He wants us to feel the women’s sadness and relate to them, whether they are drinking because a loved one died or because a relationship ended. They are also both wearing nice dresses. The dresses help the viewer examine the shapes of the women. Since, we do not see their faces, it allows the viewer to focus on the anatomy of the women and beauty of the body, rather than their faces. Similar to speaking english, people drink throughout the world, it's just a matter of why that helps us dive deeper into other cultures and how we all drink alcohol.

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