Pablo Picasso’s “The Old Guitarist”:
I sit on the street between the Alhambra and the Gypsy quarters. Like my divided identity–muslim, Spanish, Gypsy–I find myself torn between these disparate world. None accept me completely—I fly wayward from quarter to the next. The Spanish find me too dark and shun my religion; the Gypsies fear I’m a mole for the Spanish, and my religion is like the vestige that Spain carries with its history. They all respect the architecture, or beauty of my religion, like the decorative Alhambra.
My clothes I have been wearing since before I can remember. They drape roughly over my joints, reminding me of my emaciation. The only thing that remains is my guitarra. I find that music is the great unifying space between us all. Here, I meld the rhythmic chaos of the Gypsy sound, the sweet, slow strums of the Spanish Flamenco, and the wails of the minaret. Nameless, homeless, people-less, but not without music. They sounds I create are the sounds of cultural overlap. It’s my way of making sense of my place in the world.