Picasso poses a problem for the supporters of Marxist-Leninist view of socialist art.
What ideology - both subjectively and objectively - did he represent? What are the advocates of realism in the arts to make of Picasso's love of gross anatomical distortions? How do most people react to his, perhaps most famous work - "Guernica" - and what does it signify?And finally, what was his relation to the Communist Party?

    We contend that Picasso's story is one of a gifted artist, who was situated at a major turning point in history, between the time of the “pure, isolated individual” and a time that history was rushing forwards because of the consolidated action of masses. At this time, artists (like everybody else) were confronted with a choice. Many took the wrong turn -- towards an isolationism, towards a “renunciation of reality”. One art historian explains this as the end of approximately 400 years of art history that had been till then, steadily moving towards a goal of more and better ‘reality'. In its place  was substituted a “form of existence surpassing and incompatible with reality”, an existence that is “ugly”:

   We will argue that Picasso took the 'wrong turn" - rejecting realism - only to partially correct himself under the influence of a political realisation of the horrors of war and capitalism.

    Picasso forsook his earlier brilliance in works of a realistic nature, to ‘invent' Cubism. Both Cubism, and other related art movements such as Surrealism, and Dadaism -- were pained attempts to come to terms with a rapidly changing society in the midst or the wake of the catastrophes of the First World War. It was the expression of an intense "hopelessness" of man's possibility of changing anything -- for example, averting the First World War. It was also explicitly anti-rational:

    In the 1918 Berlin Dada Manifesto for instance, life is characterised as where:     Dadaism involved a "nihilism" [""total rejection of current religious beliefs or morals.. A form of scepticism, involving the denial of all existence," "Shorter Oxford English Dictionary" Volume 2; Oxford 1973; ; p.1404.]. The nihilism of these movements "not only questions the value of art but of the whole human situation. For, as it is stated in another of its manifestos, "measured by the standard of eternity, all human action is futile":     Paradoxically, contrasting to the Dadaists, at least in some ways, Picasso exalted the individual. One can also see in him the epitome of the bourgeois view of an artist as someone obsessed by not only "art", but of acting the part of "an artiste" - so that their life story is in itself a ‘work of art'. So Picasso said of artists that what was important was "who they are, not what they did":     Berger perceptively places Picasso's exalted view of “artistic creativity” - as a remnant of the Romantics of the 19th century, for whom “art” was a “way of life”. Berger goes on to show that this was a form of a reaction to the bourgeois, monied ‘Midas” touch -- a touch that changes all relations including artistic relations -- to one of a mere commerce. While this exaltation of “creativity” was of value to the Romantics, in the 20th century nexus of individual versus masses, this self-centredness could be and was, hideously out of place: Pablo Picasso -- Early Years     Picasso was born in Spain, but lived and worked most of his life in Paris. His artistic mediums included sculpture, graphic arts, ceramics, poster design, as well as fine art. He was probably the most famous and prolific artist of the 20th century. As a son of a painter, he was a precocious master of line, even as a child. It is said that as a baby, is said to have been ‘lapiz' - pencil. His work incorporated a number of styles, and he denied any logical sequence to his art development:     At this early stage (1900-1904) Picasso expressed artistic sentiments on behalf of the under-priviliged. For example, during his "Blue Period", he painted several examples of a realistic and moving art:

    By 1904 Picasso now in Paris, was influenced by the Fauvist movement, as well as African sculpture and Cezanne's works. He began to distort anatomical forms, in order to "disregard any conventional idea of beauty" ("Les Demoiselles d'Avignon" (MOMA, New York, 1906-7)[ See below]. At that time, these results were not viewed favourably, and "d'Avignon" was not publicly exhibited until 1937. But it marked the start of Cubism, which Picasso began with Braque and Gris from 1907 up to the First World War.

    So what was Cubism? It was a movement begun by Picasso with Braque, and later Gris, and was named after their tendency to use cubic motifs, as can be seen above:     The cubists rejected an "apparent" reality to be conveyed by normal rules of perspective and modelling. They aimed to show all sides of reality, by displaying a moving history of how objects look over time, and from simultaneously observed but differing, vantage points. It was a "cerebral" exercise therefore, and it rejected any simple notion of how "an object looked":     As a movement, following its' birth with "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon", it rapidly evolved into other movements -- but it was one of the key sources of abstractionism in art:     But all these new movements propound a view of life that is "form-destroying". Picasso thus easily flips in and out of several art movements, all the time exploring ever more "un-real" and deconstructed forms. At the same time, he is intent upon eroding any sense of a "unity" -- whether of personality, of styles, view of the world etc. All reflect the deep contradictions of 20th century capitalism: "Cubism and constructivism, on the one side, and expressionism and surrealism, on the other, embody strictly formal and form-destroying tendencies respectively which now appear for the first time side by side in such sharp contradiction. ...
Picasso, who shifts from one of the different stylistic tendencies to the other most abruptly, is at the same time the most representative artist of the present age. ...
Picasso's eclecticism signifies the deliberate destruction of the unity of the personality; his imitations are protests against the cult of originality; his deformation of reality, which is always clothing itself in new forms, in order the more forcibly to demonstrate their arbitrariness, is intended, above all, to confirm the thesis that "nature and art are two entirely dissimilar phenomena." Picasso turns himself into a conjurer, a juggler, a parodist, ..
And he disavows not only romanticism, but even the Renaissance, which, with its concept of genius and its idea of the unity of work and style, anticipates romanticism to some extent. He represents a complete break with individualism and subjectivism, the absolute denial of art as the expression of an unmistakable personality. His works are notes and commentaries on reality; they make no claim to be regarded as a picture of a world and a totality, as a synthesis and epitome of existence. Picasso compromises the artistic means of expression by his indiscriminate use of the different artistic styles just as thoroughly and wilfully as do the surrealists by their renunciation of traditional forms. The new century is full of such deep antagonisms, the unity of its outlook on life is so profoundly menaced, that the combination of the furthest extremes, the unification of the greatest contradictions, becomes the main theme, often the only theme, of its art."
Hauser, Arnold. "The Social history of Art -- Naturalism, Impressionism, The Film Age. Volume 4"; New York; nd; p.233-234.
    Since Picasso is so adept technically, he can continue to simply adopt and then drop styles as he pleases. In 1917 Picasso went to Italy, where he was impressed by Classicism, and incorporated some features of so-called "Monumental Classicism" into the work of the 1920's (Mother and Child), but he also became involved with Surrealism, and with Andre Breton. The surrealists were interested in "irrationalist elements, and exaltation of chance, and equally to the direct realistic reproduction of dream or subconscious material." I. Chilvers, H. Osborne, D. Farr. "Oxford Dictionary of Art"; Oxford; 1977; p.431.

    During this time, he explored images of the Minotaur, the half man half beast drawn from Cretan mythology. Now, the Spanish Civil War erupted. This led to his most famous work, Guernica (Centro Cultural Reina Sofia, Madrid, 1937), which was produced for the Spanish Pavilion at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1937 to express horror and revulsion at the destruction by bombing of the Basque capital Guernica during the civil war (1936-9).

    By this time, Picasso had already become a very rich man already:

    On 26 April 1937, the German air force was asked by General Franco to bomb the city of Guernica. This city was the ancient heart of the Basque nation, an oppressed nation within the multi-national state of Spain. It had resisted the Francoite fascists, and Franco was determined to subdue it. The city had no defences, and no military importance. The correspondent of ‘The Times' reported on the destruction: "Guernica, the most ancient town of the Basques and the centre of their cultural tradition was completely destroyed yesterday afternoon by insurgent air raiders. The bombardment of the open town far behind the lines occupied precisely three hours and quarter, during which a powerful fleet of aeroplanes consisting of three German types, Junkers and Heinkel bombers and Heinkel fighters did not cease unloading on the town bombs. And incendiary projectiles. The fighters, meanwhile, plunged low from above the centre of the town to machine gun those of the civil population who had taken refuge in the fields.
    The whole of Guernica was soon in flames, except the historic Casa de Juntas, with its rich archives of the Basque race, where the ancient Basque Parliament used to sit. The famous oak of Guernica, the dried old stump of 600 years and the new shoots of this century, was also untouched. Here the kings of Spain used to take the oath to respect the democratic rights (fueros) of Vizcaya and in return received a promise of allegiance as suzerains with the democratic title of Senor, not Rey Vizcaya."
Antony Blunt. "Picasso's Guernica"; Toronto; 1969; Oxford & Toronto, p.7-8.
    Perhaps however the real measure of the horror is best given by the first eye-witness account, from a priest -- Father  Alberto de Onaindia: "We reached the outskirts of Guernica just before five o'clock. The streets were busy with the traffic of market day. Suddenly we heard the siren, and trembled. People mere running about in all directions, abandoning everything they possessed, some hurrying into the shelters, others running into the hills. Soon an enemy airplane appeared ... and when he was directly over the center he dropped three bombs. Immediately airwards we saw a squadron of seven planes, followed a little later by six more, and this in turn by a third squadron of five more. And Guernica was seized by a terrible panic.
    I left the car by the side of the road and we took refuge in a storm drain. The water came up to our ankles. From our hiding place we could see everything that happened without being seen. The airplanes came low, flying at two hundred meters. As soon as we could leave our shelter, we ran into the woods, hoping to put a safe distance between us and the enemy. But the airmen saw us and went after us. The leaves hid us. As they did not know exactly where we were, they aimed their machineguns in the direction they thought we were traveling. We heard the bullets ripping through branches and the sinister sound of splintering wood. The milicianos and I followed the flight patterns of the airplanes, and we made a crazy journey through the trees, trying to avoid them. Meanwhile, women, children, and old men were falling in heaps, like flies, and everywhere we saw lakes of blood.
    I saw an old peasant standing alone in a field: a machine-gun bullet killed him. For more than an hour these planes, never more than a few hundred meters in altitude, dropped bomb after bomb on Guernica. The sound of the explosions and of the crumbling houses cannot be imagined. Always they traced on the air the same tragic flight pattern, as they flew all over the streets of Guernica. Bombs fell by the thousands. Later we saw bomb craters. Some were sixteen meters in diameter and eight meters deep.
   The airplanes left around seven o'clock, and then there came another wave of them, this time flying at an immense altitude. They were dropping incendiary bombs on our martyred city. The new bombardment lasted thirty-five minutes, sufficient to transform the town into an enormous furnace. Even then I realized the terrible purpose of this new act of vandalism. They were dropping incendiary bombs to convince tie world that the Basques had torched their own city. The destruction went on altogether for two hour. and forty-five minutes. When the bombing was over the people left their shelters. I saw no one crying. Stupor was written on all their faces. Eyes fixed on Guernica, we were completely incapable of believing what we saw."
In Martin, Russell. "Picasso's War. The Destruction of Guernica, and the Masterpiece that Changed the World"; 2002, New York; p. 40-42.
    Colonel Wolfram von Richthofen, commanded the Condor Legion, and planned that first blast bombs would destroy all city-centre buildings; then that the townspeople would be strafed with machine-gun fire; and finally, that incendiary bombs would set fire to the rubble. Four days later, he reported his success: "Gernika literally levelled to the ground. Attack carried out with 250-kilogram and incendiary bombs-about one-third of the latter. When the first Junker squadron arrived, there was smoke everywhere already [from von Moreau's first assault]; no, body could identify the targets of roads, bridge, and suburbs, and they just dropped everything right into the center. The 250s toppled houses and destroyed the water mains. The incendiaries now could spread and become effective. The material of the houses: tile roofs, wooden porches, and half-timbering resulted in complete annihilation.... Bomb craters can still be seen in the streets, simply terrific. Town completely blocked off for at least 24 hours, perfect conditions for a great victory, if only the troops had followed through."
In Martin, Russell. "Picasso's War. The Destruction of Guernica, and the Masterpiece that Changed the World"; 2002, New York; p. 42-43.
    Russell Martin points to the innovative strategy that was utlized of air-raid induced terror: "The three-hour campaign had been efficient, accurate, highly effective, and it was precisely what was proscribed in German military strategist M.K.L. Dertzen's Grundsdtze der Wehrpolitik, which had been published two years before and which von Richthofen had taken very much to heart: "If cities are destroyed by flames, if women and children are victims of suffocating gases, if the population in open cities far from the front perish due to bombs dropped from planes, it will be impossible for the enemy to continue the war. Its citizens will plead for an immediate end to hostilities."
In Martin, Russell. "Picasso's War. The Destruction of Guernica, and the Masterpiece that Changed the World"; 2002, New York; p. 42-43. Guernica -- The Painting
    Picasso had not been especially political up to this time, although as a youth in Barcelona the vigorous anarchist movements there had influenced him. But with the onset of the Spanish Civil War, Picasso took sides. In May 1937 he made his position clear in a public statement: "The Spanish struggle is the fight of reaction against the people, against freedom. My whole life as an artist has been nothing more than a continuous struggle against reaction and the death of art. How could anybody think for a moment that I could be in agreement with reaction and death? When the rebellion began, the legally elected and democratic republican government of Spain appointed me director of the Prado Museum, a post which I immediately accepted. In the panel on which I am working which I shall call Guernica, and in all my recent works of art, I clearly express my abhorrence of the military caste which has sunk Spain in an ocean of pain and death ...."
Barr, Alfred. "Picasso: Fifty Years of His Art"; New York; 1946; p.202; cited by Blunt A; Ibid; p. 9.

"' No: painting is not there just to decorate the walls of a flat. It is a means of waging offensive and defensive war against the enemy."
Cited at:

    He immediately did a pair of etchings entitled Sueho y mentira de Franco (‘Dream and Lie of Franco) which he issued with an accompanying poem. In January 1937, the Republican elected Government, invited Picasso to paint a mural for the Spanish Pavilion in the International Exhibition of Paris in 1938. Following the bombing of Guernica, Picasso worked in a frenzy completing the huge work in ten days.

 The cover of "Alliance Marxist-Leninist" Issue 52 shows the painting. But for a larger view go here:
Web-site for Guernica  at:

    Blunt describes the large canvas as follows:

"The painting is on canvas and measures 11 ft. 6 in. by 25 ft. 8 in. It is almost monochrome, that is to say, it is executed in various shades of grey, varying from a completely neutral tint to slightly purplish and bluish greys at one extreme, and brownish greys at the other.
The scene takes place in darkness, in an open space surrounded by schematically indicated buildings, which presumably stand for a public square in the town of Guernica. At the top is a strange lamp in the form of an eye, with an electric bulb as the iris.
The actors in the scene fall into two groups. The active protagonists are three animals - the bull, the wounded horse, and the winged bird just visible in the left background-and two human beings, the dead soldier, and the woman above and to the right, who leans out of a window and holds out a lamp to illuminate the whole stage. They are accompanied by a sort of Greek chorus of three women: the screaming mother carrying a dead baby on the left, the woman rushing in from the right, and above her one falling in a house which is collapsing in flames.
These figures - human and animal - and the symbolism attached to them were not evolved at a single blow but have a long and complicated history, not only in the work of Picasso himself but in European art of earlier periods."
Blunt, Antony . "Picasso's Guernica"; Toronto; 1969 OUP, p.13
    Apart from a general sense of horror -what does it all mean? What are the bull and the horse doing here so prominently? "As regards the meaning of the picture, Picasso has only supplied a slight clue about the central symbols. The horse, he said in an interview, represents the people, and the bull brutality and darkness. When pressed by his interlocutor to say whether he meant that the bull stood for Fascism, he refused to agree and stuck to his original statement. … These indications are tantalizingly slender, but it is possible, by a study of Picasso's previous work, particularly in the 1930's, to deduce more about the symbols used in Guernica and about the artist's intentions in general. The central theme, the conflict between bull and horse, is one which has interested the artist all his life. ……….."
Blunt, Antony . "Picasso's Guernica"; Toronto; 1969; p.14.
    Prior to Guernica, Picasso had long been depicting battles between good and evil, where the Minotaur takes a prominent place. But these symbolic interpretations are much less important than the overall first impact -- of the weeping women. There can be little doubt that any spectator who is first shown this picture more likely reacts immediately to the wailing women -- one with an obviously dead child, one in a burning house, and the dead or gravely injured soldier holding a weapon who is being trampled by a terrified horse. The general effect is one of a terrible searing scene. Moreover, an original draft had an equally potent image -- a clenched fist: "In.. . . . the drawing of 9 May … . . the main interest is now focussed on the dead soldier, who fills the whole left-hand part of the foreground, lying with his head on the right, his left hand clasping a broken sword," his right arm raised and his fist clenched. That is to say, Picasso has taken the theme of the raised arm with clenched fist, which in the drawing played a quite minor part in a corner of the composition, and has given it a completely new significance by attaching it to the central figure of the composition. The arm of the soldier now forms a strong vertical, which is emphasized by the axis of the lamp, continued downwards in a line cutting across the body of the horse, and by another vertical line drawn arbitrarily to the left of the arm. The vertical strip thus formed is made the basis of the geometrical scheme on which the composition is built up."
Blunt, Antony: "Picasso's Guernica"; Toronto; 1969 OUP, p.39.
The drawing can be seen at:
    However Picasso then removed the raised arm. Why? What we can be sure of is that at that time Picasso was not associated with the Communist party, and the symbol of the clenched fist was and is - an explicitly communist one. Therefore, the overall sense of the painting remains one of a horror -- and not that of a RESISTANCE to the hells of war.

    And naturally, the "distortions of forms" -- the late Picasso speciality -- remains. But -- having said that - what impact has the painting had on the numerous people who have seen it or its reproduction? An interesting experience is to watch those who are looking at this gigantic painting -- they are mesmerised and yet, horrified at the same time.

There is absolutely no doubt that the picture has become iconic in its symbolic rejection of war and the brutal inhumanity of war.

    For those who might still be sceptical of this viewpoint, it should be remembered that during the prelude to the inhumane, and illegal 2003 war against Iraq, a tapestry copy of "Guernica" -- that hangs in the foyer at the United Nations HQ at New York, was shrouded during televised interviews.

    Why does it seem that this painting evokes such resonant feelings? After all, it is in its form-distortions -- anti-realistic. In fact "abstract" painting rarely evokes a "positive" audience reaction. Recall for instance the furore as the "critics" - the servants of the capitalist classes waxed eloquent about the piles of bricks at the Tate -- the public roared its' incomprehension and its' disapproval. But this has not ever happened with "Guernica". Why?

    It is possible that people have become simply more visually sophisticated than they used to be -- under the influence of mass printings. Or possibly the knowledge of what happened at Guernica is so widespread -- that people can make a quick connection between the intent of the painting -- despite the distortion of forms. But, a third point has to be made. That is that perhaps despite the bias of the painter, whose loyalty to "form-distortion" was so deep -- it is in fact pretty "realistic". The horse screaming in agony is -- evidently just that. The women howling -- can be heard. The heat on the woman burning the bomber house -- is felt scorching us. The sounds of the horse trampling on the dead soldier -- are bone-jarringly "real".

    Maybe Picasso was a "cubist". But he left his intellectualised system to one side when he painted this picture.

    Picasso also made other great paintings that attacked war, [See "The Charnel House"; MOMA, New York, 1945] and the later Korean War [ "Korean women and children being butchered by white men - Massacre in Korea" - see below:]

All show marked ‘form-distortion', but they nonetheless, do convey a clear message. In fact, the non-realistic pictures do resonate. The editors of the ‘Oxford Dictionary', claim that: "In treating such themes Picasso universalized the emotional content by an elaboration of the techniques of expression which had been developed through his researches into Cubism."
I. Chilvers, H. Osborne, D. Farr. "Oxford Dictionary of Art"; Oxford; 1977; p. 144.
    Clearly, these works are not ‘realist' in any usual meaning, but their meaning is surely explicit. So -- are these propagandist posters, or are they art? We would argue that they are more within the realm of progressive propaganda. But, the boundary line is certainly very narrow. Impact of Picasso and Guernica on Russian Discussions Upon Socialist Realist Art     A mythology prevails, that there was no discussion - nor knowledge of Western art movements in the socialist years of the USSR (up to 1953). But this is patently false, as there is absolutely no doubt that the Russian artistic scene, was affected by currents in the West. Indeed, the height of knowledge and sensible debates about these various movements is the lie to the general bourgeois line that "there was no debate" and "purely dictatorship" in the USSR.  Artistic events in the West were treated very seriously and openly. Undoubtedly post-Second World War there was a renewed debate about the principles of ‘Socialist Realism':     Picasso and his evident partisanship, as expressed in ‘Guernica' became a part of the debate in the USSR:    Punin's denial of "formalism: in the works of cubism, or futurism - is untenable. Punin was using the  works of the 1930's of Picasso, that had already mutated away from "non-realistic" painting. Actually, it is very telling that the argument "What about Guernica?" -- could be used in the midst of this discussion. Even the staunchest supporter of the principles of socialist realism in the USSR, simply had to concede that the painting had emotional power. But the use of Picasso's open allegiance, by various revisionist sections of the French Communist party even more blatantly.

Post Second World War - ‘Becoming a communist, Picasso hoped to come out of exile'.

Already, his painting of Guernica had shown that Picasso was a republican. During the war years, he stayed in Nazi occupied Paris. On the liberation of Europe, Picasso was to show very publicly his allegiance to the Communist party:

"On October 4 1944, less than six weeks after the liberation of Paris, Pablo Picasso, then 63, joined the French Communist party. To his surprise, the news covered more than half of the front page of the next day's L'Humanité, the party's official newspaper, overshadowing reports of the war…….. "Shortly after, in an interview for L'Humanité, Picasso claimed that he had always fought, through the weapons of his art, like a true revolutionary. But he also said that the experience of the second world war had taught him that it was not sufficient to manifest political sympathies under the veil of mythologising artistic expression. "I have become a communist because our party strives more than any other to know and to build the world, to make men clearer thinkers, more free and more happy. I have become a communist because the communists are the bravest in France, in the Soviet Union, as they are in my own country, Spain. While I wait for the time when Spain can take me back again, the French Communist party is a fatherland for me. In it I find again all my friends - the great scientists Paul Langevin and Frédéric Joliot-Curie, the great writers Louis Aragon and Paul Eluard, and so many of the beautiful faces of the insurgents of Paris. I am again among brothers." Five days after joining the party Picasso appeared at a ceremony at the Père Lachaise cemetery, organised as a joint memorial for those killed during the Commune of 1871 and in the Nazi occupation of Paris."
Gertje R Utley. "Picasso was one of the most valued members of the French Communist party - until a portrait of Stalin put him at the centre of an ideological row". October 21, 2000 The Guardian;,3605,385610,00.html
    Elsewhere he rhetorically asked:     His allegiance extended to numerous art-related activities. His efforts were recognised by a Stalin Prize, for his famous Poster for Peace, using the image of a dove [See below].

   In addition he was lavish with his money:     So upon Stalin's death, it was not un-expected that he would be asked to paint his picture. He had pervasively been asked -- on Stalin's 70th birthday -- and refused. This time he agreed. However an orchestrated campaign of vilification suggested that the portrait was “an affront to Stalin” as it “neglected to reflect the emotions of the people”. Picasso had wanted a portrait of “a man of the people”. The French Communist Party was of course under revisionist control at this time. As we have previously described, the revisionists wished to perpetuate a “cult of personality”. Picasso had reverted to a ‘realistic' style, at a most inconvenient time for them, and in a most inconvenient manner. He “had to be rebuked”:     But Picasso refused to rise to the bait, and refused to attack the party.

    In private, Picasso gave a rather amusing -- if somewhat coarse -- attack on the bureaucratic slavish mentality behind this imbroglio:     What is even more interesting -- is that despite his “saison en enfer” (season in hell) -- Picasso never recanted his allegiance to the party. Even with the social-imperialists attacks on both Hungary (1956) or Czechoslovakia (1968):     He  clearly believed the lies of the revisionist Khruschev, given out at this so-called “secret speech”. But he asked whether “And the workers, are they still masters of their factories, and the peasants, the owners of their land?” :     His answer was the workers were still in charge. Of course he was tragically wrong. But then -- he was an artist, albeit a flawed one, always twisting away from reality. In the end he was somewhat ‘straightened' by his late found political allegiance. But -- he was still only an artist - and not a political theorist or leader of the working classes. What in an artist is excusable -- is inexcusable in those who claim to be ‘leaders of the vanguard of the working class'. Therefore we will agree, if we are charged that we view Picasso with a benign eye. We would simply counter that this is the same ‘benign eye' that Marx turned on artists in general, saying of the poet Ferdinand Freiligarth for instance:     Equally, we cannot accept the line of John Berger, who writes:     Oddly, Berger writes this despite having already pointed out that Picasso had renewed himself by joining the party:     Well, Picasso bloomed anew with the power of the peoples vision. How can Berger recognising this, then say that Picasso was wasted artistically? In the last period of his life, apart from the posters and the variations on the dove of peace he did, Picasso really only painted upon the ceramics made by others. In contrast to Berger, we might suggest that it was his political artistic work, that kept him ‘artistically alive'. Conclusion:     We argue that Picasso ultimately was on the side of the working classes. A "champagne socialist" he may have been -- but he did not need to do what he did. As to the worth of his art - where he retained realist images and forms, he showed a power that people understood. But he was constantly reverting to decadent forms and images that placed at an immediate distance between the people and his art. At his best, he moved people.
    And in that troubling work -- "Guernica" -- he undoubtedly, has moved and affected generations who have seen it. Again -- it is patently, not a piece of "socialist art" -- but despite its obvious anti-realist forms, it conveys a very real, and realistic message:








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