Picasso: a great Artist or great Branding?

After have been strolling up and down small corridors in Barcelona, I stumble upon Picasso. Not the actual Pablo Picasso, but the museum by the same name, and I decided to have a look.

Just a small update on Pablo Ruiz Picasso: Picasso was born in 1881 Malaga, Spain, and died in 1973 i Mougins, France. During hiss career Picasso managed to establish himself as a fine painter and artist, and is today considered one of the greatest painters of the 20th century.

The museum was interesting and I got a fine inside in the development of Picasso’s arts. However; strolling around at this fine museum looking at pictures created in the 19th century, made me think. Is this really beautiful, special or in any way extraordinary? Well I am not to be the judge of that. But comparing one of Picasso’s paintings with one of the street painters sitting on the sidewalk, the difference in talent with a brush do not really have to be that big.

So why is it that a painting made by Picasso can be sold for a 100 million dollar where the street painter can only get 10 euros? Well I do not have a scientific proofed answer, but I will dare to claim that it has to do with branding.

You can compare it to soft drinks. Even though you know that Coca Cola is not necessarily the best Cola on the market you buy it, because you attach value to the name and not to the actual product. You can look at paintings the same way. Hanging a Picasso in your living room signals wealth, status, and intellect. Not because the painting is beautiful or suit your living room, but because you attach value to the name of the painter. Hanging the same painting without Picasso’s signature and the painting would not get any attention at all.

It is a tendency that we see more and more, that the actual craftsmanship is deprioritized in favor of the brand. Another example is the music industry where the best singer is not the one topping the top 10 charts, but those who have been promoted the best.

It is like this in many industries, and therefore is it also important to take notion of.  Picasso might have been a great painter, but I would claim that his greatest talent was getting his pictures exposed the right places, and bought by the right people. And that way around attached psychical value to his paintings.

I am sure that only a minority will agree with me, so let me hear your argument and please post a comment.