I wish I’d been around to see the Moon landing. The good news is I’ll probably be alive to see the first humans land on Mars. That’s exciting. It’s hard for me to imagine not being excited about these things.
So it was with some shock that I read this quote from Pablo Picasso. Apparently in 1969, the New York Times asked Picasso what he thought about the Apollo 11 mission, and he said:
It means nothing to me. I have no opinion about it, and I don’t care.
Now it’s not like Picasso didn’t have some appreciation for science. Based on what I know about art history, I’m given to understand that the weirdness of Picasso’s work was influenced, to some extent, by the weirdness of Einstein’s physics.
The multiple perspectives unified in a Picasso painting supposedly reflect the multiple frames of reference that are unified in the theory of relativity. Or at least, that’s what I’ve read in art history books and in books on the history of science.
So why did Picasso think so little of the Moon landing? I think I can guess. “It means nothing to me. I have no opinion about it, and I don’t care.” I sense a touch of bitterness in those words. Maybe Picasso was just upset he didn’t get to go to the Moon himself.
If so, then I can understand where he’s coming from.