Picasso’s Dilemma is a multi-site video art installation created by the husband and wife team of Alex Kritselis (Artist/Dean of Visual Arts & Media Studies at Pasadena City College) and artist/filmmaker Joey Forsyte.
Organized by Kritselis and Forsyte, Picasso’s Dilemma is an enormous collaborative project involving more than 50 artists, ages 4 to adult. This unprecedented, multi-site “pop-up public art” project frames all corners of Pasadena city limits and is presented in unexpected locations, like community centers, storefronts, and other high-traffic public areas.
Participating artists will paint a quick, loosely defined “self-portrait” onto a vertical sheet of transparent glass. With video cameras rolling on the other side, Kritselis and Forsyte will record each portrait’s creation “through the looking glass,” so to speak. The resulting videos will be rear-projected onto storefront windows throughout Pasadena, making it appear as if the subjects are painting self-portrait directly onto the storefront windows. Participating artists include Yutaka Sone, Jim Morphesis, Roland Reiss, Mark Dean Veca, Rebecca Morris, Milo Reice, Sandra Low, and Keiko Fukosawa, among others.
This illusion is an homage of sorts to a famous excerpt from Belgian filmmaker Paul Haesaerts’ 1950 short “A Visit to Picasso,” where the 20th Century Master is filmed painting on glass.
Picasso famously said, "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist as one grows up." This was Picasso’s dilemma, and is the titular inspiration for Kritselis and Forsyte’s project. Forsyte explains, “budget cuts are obliterating art programs from public schools, our project underscores the fact that art education matters on several levels. Not every child is a star athlete or a star programmer, but every child can express their unique talents in the arts."
The actual self-portraits-on-glass will be for sale and on public display at the Armory’s Studio from June 25 through June 29, with a reception on Saturday, June 25 from 7 – 9pm.
The paintings will then be on display at 35 N. Fair Oaks from July 1 through July 3 with a second public reception taking place on Friday, July 1 from 6 – 9PM. Artists will be present to discuss their work on Saturday, July 2 and Sunday, July 3 from 4 – 8pm. All sale proceeds will benefit artWORKS, a new teen center for art, design, and media serving at-risk youth. Prices start at $99.99.
Picasso’s Dilemma is made possible in part by the Pasadena Arts & Culture Commission and the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division, and private donations. Tax-deductible donations to support this project can be made through the Pasadena Arts Council’s website (see below).
Tax-Deductible Donations to Support Picasso’s Dilemma:
Alex Kritselis - Artist Website
Joey Forsyte - Filmmaker's Website
artWORKS – a new teen center for ART, DESIGN + MEDIA