It is the first art print I ever purchased. You can’t really count the psychedelic black light posters that decorated my dorm room.
This one graced the walls of our newlywed apartment. The bedding was blue, so it made sense aesthetically. But it was much more than that.
It came from the mind of a depressed Pablo Picasso during his “blue period” 1901-1904; so-called for both his choice of color, and his state of depression after the suicide of a close friend in the art world.
He was born in 1881, his first major depression came in his early 20’s, much like mine.
Finding solace in his art, he had an almost manic flurry of creative energy, producing some of his most famous and highly regarded works at this stressful time.
While not a painter, I had just lived through a very productive hypomania episode; one that I failed to identify until decades later.
Throughout the years, and without knowing, I acquired a collection of work from other artists who suffered in their mental health. Vincent Van Gogh was an early favorite; Andrew Wyeth, Jackson Pollock, Georgia O’Keeffe, French painters Degas and Gauguin, and Edvard Munch, with the unforgettable “Scream”.
It took years to recognize my own issues with depression. My choice of art was a precursor. I was always drawn to artists who had endured the struggle.
Through changes in interior decorating, Picasso’s blue lady remains. It only seems right.