great minds think alike?

The April Issue of Harper’s Magazine is a photomontage by Penny Gentieu of Guernica draped in blue, while the March 17 issue of the New Yorker (the issue with Seymour Hersh’s article on Richard Perle) has a cover designed by Harry Bliss, and called “Setting the Stage”:



The two covers are eerily similar, and both call to mind the complete draping of Guernica on January 27 at the United Nations. It was then that Colin Powell was to brief the press about the possibility of war on Iraq and the tapestry was deemed “inappropriate” so it was covered up. The two magazines picked these covers on the eve of war with Iraq, and I can only surmise that it’s because we are about to witness carnage similar to what happened in the 1930-40s, and that we are only shown part of the picture because it would be “inappropriate” to do otherwise. But that’s just my interpretation. I could be wrong.
I’ve actually seen Guernica in vivo. It was in the fall of 1998 during a visit to Spain. At the time, Guernica was part of a Picasso retrospective (can’t remember if it was at the Prado or at some other museum.) It’s quite a painting to behold, almost overwhelming in its intensity. Legend has it that when a Nazi officer asked the painter “Did you do this?”, Picasso’s response was: “No, you did.”
I wonder who we’ll be sending “No, you did” notes to, in a few years.


5 Responses to “great minds think alike?”

  1. hiker Says:

    You saw the painting at CENTRO DE ARTE REINA SOF

  2. erik Says:

    “Guernica” is one of the few things I respect Picasso for. He managed to paint more vividly than most people manage to speak about war and its aftermath.
    I am afraid that his painting will have world-wide relevance for a long time to come yet. I fear that his painting will be more than a little prophetic about this war. I wonder what Picasso thought of humanity after finishing this painting?

  3. chi-cogger Says:

    People seem to forget what really made the outrage of Guernica: it was not a military target yet was bombed into oblivion. Do you really believe that the US is currently bombing non-military targets? Because that’s what your final sentence explicitly implies. And please don’t say Dreseden and Tokyo- they were from another era.

    The only people who’ve recently bombed unarmed cities into oblivion are Saddam (documented elsewhere) and Assad (Hama).

  4. moorishgirl Says:

    I wouldn’t have said Tokyo, but Hiroshima and Nagasaki do indeed come to mind. The great thing about art is we can all interpret it differently. To me, it isn’t about just the town of Guernica but about what happens in war.

  5. eduardo Says:

    “Do you really believe that the US is currently bombing non-military targets?”

    Yes I do, intentionally or unintentionally it doesn’t matter to me. US is killing civilians. Sadam his fault using them as human shields? Of course, but what do you expect from a crazy dictator? US knew this were going to happen, but anyway attacked Iraq.

    Franco, who ordered Guernica’s bombing, was after that an allie of the US. Spanish suffered 40 years of his dictatorship after 3 years of civil war. US never did anything to liberate the Spanish people from him. Another era? Turkey is still killing kurds, Marocco in West-Sahara (a former Spanish colony) or do you only watch TV? There are many other dictatorships which are killing his own people, but US supports them, why? It’s so clear that US only defend their interests.

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