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Girl Before a Mirror by Pablo Picasso

            Girl Before a Mirror, created by Pablo Picasso, in March of 1932 is a paradoxical piece of work which can be found ironic. By piling paradox upon paradox the artist was looking for a solution but ended merely in incoherence. However, first, we must analyze paradoxes; in The Girl Before a Mirror male and female contadictions exist. .
             Refering to the left figure which I find to be female, however, her head resembles the head of a penis and the figure as a whole suggests an erect penis. The figure on the right has a male head but a very female lower half while the figure as a whole again has the form of an erect penis, the girl's buttocks doubling as male testicles. Then in the individual figures we see deliberate contradictions. In the left-hand figure the face seen in profile is confident and assertive while the full-face view suggests a retiring sadness; the roundness of the body, which suggests pregnancy, is contradicted by the thick, harsh straightness of the figure's back. In the right-hand figure the two breasts have contrasting green patterns and at the top of the figure's bottom the black lines suggest a frontal view of the female genitals. And finally, the figure on the right should logically be a mirror-image of the figure on the left and this is clearly not the case. There are also puzzling religious references in the whitish shawl-cum-halo of the left-hand figure, which might suggest the Virgin, especially if the figure is pregnant, and the ribs, not the rib-bone, which go, not from Adam to Eve, but from the more female figure to the more male one. But what does all this add up to? A great deal of confusion. Picasso appears to be looking for a solution to the male-female conundrum: in order to be attracted to man woman must presumably contain some male element. The artist piles up those factors that seem to make the problem insoluble but the result is just a series of unresolved contradictions.

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