Yesterday I was interviewed about “making mistakes in public” and how that allows us to get feedback and learn from others. My friend Philip Tarlow mentioned this Picasso quote to me last week, and it struck me as being about our learning edges. Doing things we aren’t quite sure we know how to do. Taking risks in the name of learning and doing.
” Thus when we used to make our constructions, we produced “pure truth” without pretensions, without tricks, without malice. What we did then had never been done before; we did it disinterestedly, and if iti is worth anything it is because we did it without expecting to profit from it. We sought to express reality with materials we did not know how to handle and which we prized precisely because we know that their help was not indispensable to use, that they were neither the best nor the most adequate. We put enthusiasm into the work, and, this alone, even if that were all that there were in it, would be enough: and much more than is usually put into an effort — for we surrendered ourselves to it completely, body and soul. We departed so far from the modes of expression then known and appreciated that we felt save from any suspicion of mercenary aims. “
Picasso, reported by Jaime Sabartes, Picasso: An Intimate Portrait, New York 1948
Image by Greg Robbins