Change is Good: Three Artists Who Pivoted

What a wild week! We’re celebrating (wrong word!) the one-year anniversary of our world shutting down, gearing up for Pi Day, planning our Grammy parties, obsessing over Oprah’s interview with Harry and Meghan, and… celebrating (right word!) Nice and Easel’s snappy new look! I hope you like it. It was time for a change, and I don’t mean the daylight savings kind (this Saturday, FYI!).

Since we’re doing a whole new look here, I thought it would be fun to look at a few artists who have changed direction, reinvented themselves. Like Madonna, but with visual art. Like Michael Jordan, but with visual art. Like Chloe Kardashian, but- well, you get the point.

First up is Spanish painter Joan Miro. Miro put himself on the artsy map in 1919 when he painted Village and Church. He was only 24 and was supposed to be training to take over the family’s goldsmith business, but couldn’t resist painting. After Miro nearly died from typhoid, his dad relented and let his son paint in earnest. (I do this with my kids when they break a bone. “Now is the time to ask for that pony!”) I’m glad Miro Sr. caved, because Miro created Village and Church, then developed his work, expanded his genres, and by the end of his career was creating things like The Singing Fish. It is less detailed than Village and Church and decidedly wilder, but I love them equally.

And how about Rene Magritte? He began his career as a failure, before knocking it out of the park with clever, world-renowned paintings like, The Treachery of Images (or “This is Not a Pipe,” which is what I call it.) Before he hit it big, his art received thumbs down from all the artsy VIPs. He made them eat surreal crow though, years later. In between, failure and fame he experimented with Impressionism, Realism, and Cubism to name a few, before really finding his groove in Surrealism. Compare these paintings. Both bizarre, but in totally different ways.

Finally, we have to discuss Pablo Picasso if we’re talking about pivoting creative styles. This guy changed styles in the same way Miley Cyrus moved from Disney to twerking. Sudden and surprising. Take the examples below. Picasso painted the scene on the left at the ripe age of fifteen. If I saw this in a museum, I would never guess it was a Picasso. Everyone’s features are where they belong! Later, Picasso famously went through his Blue and Rose Periods before settling into Cubism, which of course he is most well-known for these days.

If we’ve learned nothing else this past year, it’s that things change! I’m happy we have these artists and The Jonas Brothers to prove that change can be very, very good.