In a previous post, Picasso is so overrated!, I criticized Picasso's painting, Family of Saltimbanques, for containing several childish mistakes. Or at least I consider them mistakes, others may think that they were done at purpose, to send a message which only they can see.
The above mentioned painting was not the only one with mistakes. For instance, below is an annotated image of Boy with a Dog, painted in the same year. Again, we see a disregard to the proportions: this boy's hands are disproportionately long, being able to hang under his knees! The dog is fine.
Were these so-called mistakes really mistakes, or did they serve to a higher purpose, sending a message which could not be sent by conforming to the arid laws of proportion, perspective, anatomy? Last time I argued that they are mistakes, because they were made before Picasso's cubist period. If somebody can say that Picasso deliberately broke the rules, being one of the founders of cubism, well, he was not always a cubist. When being cubist, Picasso deliberately violated the rules, but before that, why would he try to be so conformist in all his paintings, only to break the rules occasionally? A possible explanation is that he was not mastering so well the techniques, he did not have so well the intuition of how objects are in space. Of course, to respect anatomy, he could use models, wooden manequins, and he could make first some sketches. Maybe he was lazy, or thought it is below him to do this, or that this would affect his inspiration. Perhaps he observed, or was told, that it's something wrong with the positions and proportions, that they don't fit well, but was to lazy to redo the entire painting, or thought that it represents so well what he meant, that he wouldn't change anything.
Anyway, if he was making such childish mistakes, then he may have found in cubism his salvation. He found in cubism the freedom of expression, but not because the classical means were too limited. Rather, because he could not master them. So, it is not excluded that he thought he had something to say, but couldn't because he was "illiterate" in painting. Like an aspiring poet who doesn't know grammar and spelling, and decides to invent his own grammar and spelling. He couldn't play the game, so he changed the rules and invented his own game. It seems that, by this, he was able to find many others willing to play by his rules, and even to spend real fortunes on his works. If there is a public, then this is, after all, art.
I will close with a quote from Roger Waters (Curtis, James M. (1987). Rock Eras: Interpretations of Music and Society, 1954-1984. Popular Press. p. 283. ISBN 0879723696.)
Audiences at those vast concerts are there for an excitement which, I think, has to do with the love of success. When a band or a person becomes an idol, it can have to do with the success that that person manifests, not the quality of work he produces. You don't become a fanatic because somebody's work is good, you become a fanatic to be touched vicariously by their glamour and fame. Stars—film stars, rock 'n' roll stars—represent, in myth anyway, the life as we'd all like to live it. They seem at the very centre of life. And that's why audiences still spend large sums of money at concerts where they are a long, long way from the stage, where they are often very uncomfortable, and where the sound is often very bad.