Lunch with Pablo Picasso and the boys

I have no real interest for most things artsy fartsy. Growing up, I was always more interested in reading the entire Virginia Andrews series or doing research into the Kennedy assassination than getting my fingers full of paint or putty. I was the brains of the family while my sister was the creative one. Even today, I’d prefer to spend three hours running a half marathon than browsing through an antique shop – something my mom and sister love doing.

So you can imagine my surprise when I visited the Standard Bank Gallery to see the latest French Masters of the 20th Century exhibition. The artwork is original works by Degas, Renoir, Manet, Matisse, Picasso and many more and shows how each artist depicted the human body through painting, printmaking, film and photography. I was filled with such awe and admiration!To see artwork that dates back to the early 20th century left me breathless. The detail. The colours. The frames.

Every time someone accidentally stepped too close to the paintings, an alarm would go off and the security would give a disapproving look. I’ll admit that some of the art looked way too weird for my liking. Some of them I did not understand and there were one or two that looked as if my niece had painted it. (mmm, a giveaway of my fine arts knowledge). However, how many chances in life do you get to stand in front of a Picasso or Renoir painting?

Visitors to the gallery get the option of strolling around unguided daily or a tour by the curator on Friday’s between 1pm and 2pm. Some of the facts she highlighted about the artists where really interesting and made me look at the paintings in a whole different way. (before I got bored and giggled every time the alarm buzzed.)

My colleagues and I felt like VIP’s as if we had “back stage passes” to the gallery and the curator allowed us to take a few photos (without a flash, of course). Just a perk of being part of the marketing team at the blue bank. Thank-you Mandy. And to you, Mr Picasso!

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