This past month of June we awarded the prizes to the winners of the competition of short stories “Picasso in Words” organised jointly with the Open University of Catalonia (OUC). Here we show you the winning stories:
The Passeig de Colom
The Passeig de Colom. Pablo Picasso. Barcelona, 1917. Oil on canvas. MPB 110.028
8-11 cast: Isabel Molina
“From my balcony,
where is Columbus pointing?
to the western sea.”
12-18 cat: Dumitru Alexandru Florian
The Passeig de Colom
The waves of the sea crashed against the rocks. The sun warmed the birds’ wings. The trees were as green as the grass. The wind was moving the branches of the trees. The breeze touched the leaves. You could feel the sea breeze and the birds sing. The sun warmed the water. The sea seemed endless, the sea always blue. The sky reflected a never-ending brightness. The clouds looked like cakes. The statue of Columbus pointed towards America with his finger.
12-18 cast: José María Basauli
The invisible lighthouse
I got up on one more summer morning; it was unbearably hot, I couldn’t go on sleeping. I got out of bed and I went towards the balcony to cool down a bit.Once again I could see the magnificent statue of Columbus, solemn and imposing. Looking at this statue made me reflect on my life, and above all, about everything left for me to see, especially the world hidden beyond his figure.
I had never left Barcelona, except on the few occasions that I had visited neighbouring towns, even though I really liked travelling, but my salary didn’t allow me to do so. However, if I had had the chance I would have travelled to all the corners of the world, and there wasn’t a place on the planet that I wouldn’t have visited. I would get to know all the cultures, countries and cities of the world. But the only thing that consoled me regarding this impossible dream was to look at the statue that invited me to travel and to think of everything that one day I could end up seeing.
Ever since I was a child I envied Columbus, I have always wanted to take a boat and sail out to sea and to lose myself in the great immensities of the ocean searching for a new world in which to make a new life far from the one here in which I am trapped, far from the day-to-day monotony. And above all, to discover a place where I could find a calmness that everyone looks for, but very few end up finding.
Once more, this immense statue, and the sea in the distance, would allow me to embark on my dreams. I went back to bed, closed my eyes and let myself get carried away.
+ 18 cast: Jesús Sánchez
A new world
They say that Columbus, once retired, used to get dressed up as a bronze statue and posed for artists. And they explain that in August 1917, supporting an extreme heat wave, the admiral dressed in his best finery: he dreamed that he would be forever portrayed by that customer of the Hotel Ranzini. The clinical eye of Pablo Picasso, from the window facing the sea, didn’t hesitate from the first moment to cast spells on Christopher Columbus. Holding up his finger, pointing towards a sea of colours. And the artist, who with every brushstroke found the secret key that opened doors to new dimensions, devoured oils, and invented impossible geometries. Nothing and no one stopped them. Not even the deafening shot of the hired gunmen. Nor the racket caused by the striking workers disturbed them.
Oblivious to the anarchists’ barricades of the Raval, Picasso was trapping Columbus. First of all, between colours and hues that were so pure that made the whole city shine. Then he hypnotised him by folding and refolding the balcony. Afterwards, folding the balustrade like a paper doll. And finally, he left for future guests some disobedient blinds that were beside themselves.
Since then, Columbus has sailed between two worlds, or at least that’s what they say.
Lola, the artist’ssister in the studio in Riera de Sant Joan
Lola, the artist’s sister, in the Studio in Riera de Sant Joan. Pablo Picasso. 1900. Oil on canvas. MPB 110.054
8-11 cat:Eva González
The heart beats,
a life begins,
the world awaits you.
12-18 cat: Eva Alcalde
Lola, the artist’s sister
A lady dressed in white looking towards the window, unconsoled. She is seized by tears, not a smile escaping from her mouth. The big blue stain gets darker and darker, leaving droplets in the air.She is not the mistress of her happiness, she cannot control her feelings, and they are getting increasingly stronger. The woman, disconsolate, picks up a handkerchief, wiping away the tears dripping down her cheek. She closes her eyes, thinking that none of what has happened is true, that she can still go back. In her dream she could touch the sky, but on earth nothing is the same. The artist paints her lovely white dress, but she asks to be painted without a face, without any feeling or soul, she doesn’t want that moment to pass away nor will it go away the day the smile returns to her face. The sun seems to laugh, waking up so that the day is happy again but the woman stays the same, and won’t let anything change her mood
Portrait of Benedetta Bianco (Mrs. Canals)
Portrait of Benedetta Bianco (Sra. Canals). Pablo Picasso. París, 1905. Oil and charchoal on canvas. MPB 4.266
+ 18 cat: Adrià Roses
You look at me in such a nasty way, tracing on my face the brushstrokes of desperation and guilt. I understand that you don’t want me by your side, I understand the look, but you know where I come from. From your magnificence you can’t understand how blurred my soul is, lacking in strength and kindness. I know that maybe it is not dignified to ever mirror myself on you, I don’t expect to be able to get away from the coldness that runs inside me. You can save yourself from offering me a lace mantle that fits, it won’t protect me. I am walking wherever your eyes tell me you have been, on a path accompanied by solitude, of broken hearts, of past happiness. I am an image inspired by the tiredness of your eyes, I am a child of broken history, of the empty word.
I want to escape from here, to rediscover the idea, the concept of living. Teach me how I should do it, show me how to reduce everything into kind tired eyes, I need to know how to be eternal without first stopping being an individual.