Monday, 7 January 2008

Painting Fakes

Arthur Koestler told this joke in his book The Act of Creation.

An art collector once bought a painting from a dealer, which the dealer claimed was by Pablo Picasso. The collector wanted to make sure that it was genuine, so he visited Picasso in his studio. The great man was busy painting, so the collector waited, watching him for some time as he applied the paint to an almost-completed work. When Picasso was free he unwrapped his purchase. Picasso looked at it for a couple of seconds and snapped, "it's a fake!"

The collector was disappointed, but nonetheless felt privileged to have spent time watching Picasso paint. Imagine his excitement when a few months later, visting a gallery, he saw on sale the very painting on which he had watched Picasso working. He bought the painting and went to see the painter again. Pablo looked at the new painting for a moment and once again snapped "it's a fake!"

The collector was amazed. "But Pablo," he said, "a few months ago I sat in this very studio and watched you working on this painting."

Picasso replied in an offhanded manner, "I often paint fakes."

Hence the title of this blog. I've started this so that I can share my many thoughts, sensible and otherwise, with the world (or at least those who are interested and manage to find this blog in the maze of useless information that is the Internet). I'll be recording thoughts on social policy, music, literature, theology, politics and anything else that takes my interest. But you need not take any of it too seriously if you don't want to - a lot of it is likely to be fake.

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