I will never forget my first time, when I saw the art by Picasso. It was not my first visit to museum. However, it was the most remembering one. It was not so long time ago, in the end of the April I think. It was a special event, a Birth of a Museum exhibition, at Manarat Al Saadiyat. It was the first time one particular Picasso’s work was displayed. It was called Portrait of a Lady. It was designed in black, white, red and gold colors. It was made of paint and paper cutouts. Some sources claim that it is a portrait of Natalie Paley, a daughter of Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich of Russia and a granddaughter of Tsar Alexander II. “Being a collage, it’s one of the key elements that Picasso used and it’s not something that is always seen in other museums. It’s a very distinct style that he developed at that time” (Hassani 2013). The lack of publicity and the fact that the work has never been shown were a distinctive feature of that very special masterpiece.
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I could not take my eyes of it. I was just standing there and kept watching. Suddenly, someone called me. I turned around and realized that the man from the personnel was watching me for a while. I was a little confused. I asked him, what he wanted. He told me that I was talking to myself. He said I was whispering something about ‘play of colors’ and ‘ambiguous patterns’. I was embarrassed and I said I was sorry, but what happened next, became a big surprise for me. He asked me if I was familiar with common concepts of art. I told him that I was a student of the University of Art & Design. Then, he asked me if I could guide that particular part of exhibition. I was shocked and became speechless. He explained that their guide was hospitalized. He has some kind of trauma earlier.
First, I tried to refuse, but the man was persistent. I never liked to argue, so I accepted his proposition. However, I was not a good talker and I did not have any experience of such kind. The man told me not to worry and left. A few minutes later, he returned with a group of people. I was about to get nervous, but then I looked at Picasso’s Portrait of a Lady. I pulled myself together and started to tell the group all I knew about art of that period and all I thought about that particular work. That was a quite new and interesting experience. I had an opportunity to express my thoughts and feelings concerning art. I liked it. After the exhibition, another man came to me and told me that I nicely managed the situation. He asked me if I wanted to work there as a guide for some time, until the real guide would recover. I told him that I would think about it.
Eventually, I agreed and took a post of a guide in a well-known museum. In such a way, I found my first job due to someone else’s trauma, my own inability to refuse and love of art. I have worked there for a couple of month. Thus, I realized what I am good at and gained some valuable experience in that area.
Hassani, Z 2013, Picasso’s never before exhibited Lady to show her face in Abu Dhabi. Web.