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My Eyes, Brain and Common Sense Cry for Thee, Picasso

One of my 5 jobs is freelance work for an art dealer. I do framing and matting and stuff. Today, I was delivered a print that needs to be sent to a paper conservator for restoration before it can be framed. I took one look at the print and spoke the following sentence: “What the hell?! I wouldn’t do this to a shitty poster let alone a Picasso!”

The artwork has been pixelated to protect me from the wrath of Picasso’s ghost

Yes friends, sometime between 1967 and when our client purchased it, a (presumably) human being ROLLED UP a Picasso multiple, which was subsequently flattened, resulting in the atrocity pictured above . I showed the other Labbers on the back channel what Satan brought into the studio today and there were many and various reactions. Mostly cursing, gnashing of teeth and such. Maki and Victor tore at their beards. Ryan shot a flaming arrow into the sky in an attempt to smite the gods themselves. Katie and Katy switched names because they just don’t care anymore. Not after this.

Before I go and stab my eyes out in a fit, here is my advice to you, gentle reader. If you hold something dear, take care of it. If that thing happens to be an artwork on paper, sandwich it between some cardboard and carefully tape it closed. If it’s expensive, wrap it in glassine first. If it’s really expensive, have it framed immediately. Even you aren’t going to hang it up, just… please get it framed. It’s true that a good conservator can fix a lot of ills that can be wrought on an artwork. But their services are not cheap and they work a dark magic that should not be meddled with lightly.

And last, common sense should be the rule. As Katy/Katie said on the back channel “Make sure you don’t plop your purse or lunchbag on a stack of limited edition prints”. Exactly Katie/Katy. Exactly.

Featured image: Guernica (detail) by Pablo Picasso


Brian George

Brian George is an illustrator and designer who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. In his spare time he makes videos of Spirograph drawings and complains about doing laundry. Website: Twitter: @brianggeorge Insta: @brianggeorge If you're into what I'm doing, feel free to throw down a bit in my tipjar here: @brianggeorge

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  1. I feel like you helped get this out of our system for everyone. Breathing a small sigh of relief as the rage monster goes back into hiding. Maybe my heart rate can slow down a bit now too…

  2. I am failing entirely to relax. It would appear that the gods are a lot higher up than I can shoot, even if I jump.

    Does anyone know a good lawyer? Apparently justifiable attempted deicide does not excuse orphanage fires.

  3. Dear FSM whyyyyy!!!!! That just makes me want to cry and I can’t even see the damage to the actual image.

  4. The back of my neck is all tense just looking at that picture. I saw so much of this during my years as a picture framer. And masking tape on the back of prints, and prints folded to fit into frames. . . horrendous.

  5. Well friends, the good news is that I sent it off to the conservator on Wednesday.
    The bad news is that we can never un-see this. Never.

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