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The Picasso

Image: PV Bella

But the fact is, it has a long stupid face and looks like some giant insect that is about to eat a smaller, weaker insect. It has eyes that are pitiless, cold, mean.” (Mike Royko/Picasso and the Cultural Rebirth of Chicago)

The image is a digitally enhanced photograph of the Picasso sculpture located in Daley Plaza. The statue was unveiled in August 1967. The statue was fabricated by the US Steel Corporation, with guidance from the then Civic Center architect and engineer. It is 50 feet high and weighs 162 tons.

The piece changed the concept of public art. It was art for art’s sake versus public commemoration. Art is supposed to evoke controversy, and Picasso did just that.

The Picasso looms over Daley Plaza like a perched Pterodactyl sitting on its prey. The statue’s eyes are the eyes of a cruel predator, full of greed, power, evil, and the dog-eat-dog philosophy that intertwines politics, business, and crime in Chicago. They are the eyes of corrupt politicians, and bureaucrats, gang bangers, developers, dope dealers, house flippers, sex traffickers, and all the other people out for the fast buck in this city of scoundrels.

The Picasso represents Chicago values. Get it while you can, as fast as you can, accumulate more, and hold on as long as you can. Chicago values are enshrined in the Eleventh Commandment. Thou shalt not get caught.

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