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Jul 05 2011 - 10:14 AM
The Chicago Picasso
I catch a glimpse from the corner of my dad’s office window high up in the glass skyscraper. Sitting cross-legged, dizzy looking down, I try to replicate the puzzling sculpture on paper with pencil. Is it a bird, dog, an aardvark, baboon head, or possible profile of a woman? I have not heard yet of Cubism and find the shape, despite the clean lines, difficult to draw. What emerges one dimensionally is even more abstract than the 50 foot steel, 160 ton, three dimensional piece in the Civic Center. I shake my head, tempted to crumple the paper, but instead, fold it up and pop it in my pocket. On level ground I study the newly unveiled sculpture, sensing that Picasso’s untitled work celebrates art, rather than the rights and duties of citizens… but then I watch kids my age climb on and slide down its base, and am not so sure. His untitled sculpture looks different from all angles. Picasso never visited our city, but he set the stage for placing monumental modern art in the Loop. Prophesy foretold by Mayor Daley, what was so strange then is so familiar now. The Chicago Picasso celebrates events, birthdays, holidays, sports, and home openers.  It dons a Blackhawks cap, Chicago Bears helmet, or party hat, weathering the extreme winters and baking hot summers – an icon and landmarked symbol of civic pride. Referencing our news display, Picasso Exhibited in Paris, Friday, 6/24