Picasso, and the Courage to Fail.

Le Mystère Picasso (The Picasso Mystery) is a feature film length documentary that documents Picasso’s painting process. The unconventional presentation and surprisingly engaging “plot” aside, there’s one thing that really captured my attention: Picasso’s willingness to fail.

In more than one instance, we can see Picasso starting off with a rough idea, then slowly fleshing it out so that it reaches a state where everyone in the audience would have been happy with—and it is at this point of time that Picasso surprises us, by putting bold strokes to the canvas and undoing what seemed perfectly fine (to us the amateurs). Sometimes he succeeded in making things work out in a new way, while other times the work turned out to be less than satisfying. (Coz’ really, how many times can you overwrite a canvas before everything starts falling apart?) But failure doesn’t deter Picasso; if anything, it invigorates him and spurs him to be bolder each time.

“It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.” Picasso was known to say. Perhaps that’s just what it is: the bolder you are, the stronger you are.