Artists that Transition and Transcend

As an art connoisseur, I find the transformations of artists fascinating.

Picasso - The Old Guitarist, 1903Picasso, mostly known for his Cubism, but his oil paintings show transitions in style, from realist to caricature, to a period of blue Picasso paintings and then the era of rose-colored Picasso paintings. The Blue Period at the start of the 20th century focused on beggars, prostitutes, and other outcasts. One of his most famous blue paintings is The Old Guitarist. It is compressed, stilted, stiff, and mostly blue.

In 1904 he turned to rose color, pink and beige, and started painting circus people, clowns, and harlequins who showed little activity and appeared mute. One of the most famous of these Picasso rose paintings hangs in the National Gallery in Washington DC. It is 1905 The Lovers. The Pierrot and Columbine painting have two circus workers, painted one-dimensional, looking alienated from others and able to communicate only with each other.

Picasso then moved on to the famous Cubism era. This style is associated with Picasso much more than any previous period. His art displays his inner essence, how he transformed was reflected on the canvas.

Salvador Dali paintings are best known of the surrealist paintings anywhere in the world. Dali’s paintings are superficial and hallucinatory, wild with dream scenes from his subconscious. Dali’s paintings are very detailed and highly real, generally set in a landscape full of sun, but his transformation was as miraculous as Picasso’s.

Dali was born in Figueres Spain and studied and practiced a number of styles of painting in his youth. The Tartan “El Son” is an important piece from his earlier works. “El Son” Depicts the inner storm of Dali as life seems to crash upon him like the waves.
A later student of Freud his 1920’s era Dali paintings were erotic. This was the start of his surrealist paintings period. He aligned himself with a group of surrealists in Paris led by Andre Beton who had previously been a Dadaist. Dali finally led the surrealist movement and Dali paintings became surreal.

The Explosion, the face of a pocket watch melts and explodes in this surreal painting. The numbers on the face of the watch, along with the gears from inside it, float off into space while the remains of the timepiece slide down a cliff into oblivion. Dali paintings weren’t the artist’s only artistic medium. He made two Surrealist films as well, both filled with very suggestive and grotesque images.

About the Author

Amitai Sasson of is an art world traveler on a mission to seek out the beauty and passion of the art world. As an avid enthusiast of art and oil paintings, he contributes to as Chief editor and writer.