Making of Cubism
For the Picasso Series, Beltracchi channels the techniques of the artistic genius, Picasso, to create eight masterpieces based on the most expensive painting in the world, ‘Salvator Mundi’.
Wolfgang Beltracchi sets his first three masterpieces in Paris between 1909 and 1912, and adopts Picasso’s classical analytical cubist style, while adding futuristic elements.
In addition, Beltracchi showcases the well-renowned landmarks of Paris in the painting’s background and sphere; certain elements are architectural works of art such as the Eiffel Tower and the Sacré-Cœur, while other landmarks such as the Moulin Rouge portray the scandalous tales and history of the Parisian demi-monde.
Beltracchi sets the fourth masterpiece in the same time period and style but creates a post-apocalyptic, ominous tone and air of destruction. The background remains firmly set in Paris but depicts the recent event of the burning of Notre Dame in a cubist style.
The fifth masterpiece is an adaptation of a voodoo scene and is inspired by Picasso’s African Period, a period in which Picasso painted in a style that was strongly influenced by African sculpture and religions, and exudes the same religious undertone as that of ‘Salvator Mundi’, creating a fluidity and continuity in the painting.
The sixth masterpiece of the Picasso series is set between 1912 and 1914, painted in his synthetical style. Beltracchi creates a collage made from original artefacts of the time such as wallpaper and newsprints, combining this with photographic elements of a hand and an eye taken from his original ‘Salvator Mundi’ painting. This is complemented with painted structures and shapes to create a foundation onto which Beltracchi draws an abstract, cubist portrait of ‘Salvator Mundi’.
The seventh masterpiece is also created channeling Picasso’s synthetic style, but formed as a mixed media collage on paper mounted on a wood board. The portrait drawn on the collage is even more abstract than the previous one, with its shapes reduced and deconstructed. In the sphere, Beltracchi incorporates an ink drawing, akin to those Picasso made of Spanish bullfights, paying homage to Picasso’s Spanish origins.
The eighth masterpiece is a reduced drawing of ‘Salvator Mundi’; the drawing is made using silver ink on a photographic background.