Picasso’s eBay Period

Jimmy Chen uncovers an email conversation from a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Pablo Picasso.

From: JRosenheim@mail.metmuseum.org
To: “Picasso, Pablo” <guernica@gmail.com>
Subject: eBay Item No. 091351817

Dear Mr. Picasso,

I am the chief curator at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; we are extremely taken by your portrait of Gertrude Stein, and would like to make an offer of $4.5 million, contingent upon the following matter. Her face, perhaps overall countenance, is sort of “screwed up looking.” We understand Ms. Stein is known for her literary merit, and not her extrinsic beauty, but we were wondering how much of, dare we say, her “ugliness” are we to attribute to the modern aesthetic transgressions of your artistic genius, and how much is simply unfortunate mimesis. Please do not think us shallow. As a painter, you of all people should know that depth is merely an illusion.


Jeff Rosenheim

From: Pablo Picasso <guernica@gmail.com>
To: “Rosenheim, Jeffrey”
Subject: Re: eBay Item No. 091351817

her face is fucked up looking, how old is your daughter?


From: JRosenheim@mail.metmuseum.org
To: “Stein, Gertrude” <guddystein78@yahoo.com>
Subject: Photo request

Dear Ms. Stein,

We have been in correspondence with Pablo Picasso, who recently painted a stunning portrait of you, and is selling it on eBay. Our acquisitions department has some minor red tape to get through, which is why I am writing you. Would you mind sending us multiple photos of your face taken from various angles, as some of the bureaucrats — a group from which I gladly exclude myself — around here feel the need to assess the realism (or lack of) with regards to the work of art in mention. As a kindred spirit in the avant-garde, we can both agree that realism is so 1860s, but alas, we share this world with those who host smaller brains.

Anyways, the photos, please. I hope this does not come across as disrespectful; we (I mean, the morons I work with) are less concerned with the aesthetics of your face than we are the verity of its rendering, and would greatly appreciate your help on this.


Jeffrey A. Rosenheim, Ph.D.
Chief Curator
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

From: guddystein78@yahoo.com
To: “Rosenheim, Jeff” <JRosenheim@metmuseum.org>
Subject: Re: Photo request
Attachments: ass2.jpeg (8MB); ass5.jpeg (12MB); clnscpy.jpeg (15MB)

I am not an unphoto of favorableness to which these considerations are considered to be undone, if not entirely unwell for that matter which such is the one that matters, for every surface suffice to say will have its surface and sure face.

From: JRosenheim@metmuseum.org
To: “Picasso, Pablo” <guernica@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: eBay Item No. 091351817

Hi Pablo,

It seems that Ms. Stein, by way of an aggressively oblique, however eloquent, reply to our inquiries, is unwilling to cooperate. She also sent three high-resolution photos of what appear to be her buttocks up close, and an unidentifiable image which looks like the inside of a body. Given that we have no basis to judge the artwork’s “objective” qualities in relation to its subject, we will unfortunately need to retract any and all offers, formal or otherwise, of purchasing the painting. On a personal note, though, I am deeply saddened by this, as you clearly are a genius.

Warm regards,


p.s. My daughter is 17 years old; her name is Olga. May I ask why you ask?

From: guernica@gmail.com
To: “Stein, Gertrude” <guddystein78@yahoo.com>
Subject: Fwd: Re: eBay Item No. 091351817
Attachment: stein_dildo.jpeg (3MB)

bitch i’m trying to make a living. check out my new painting.

From: guddystein78@yahoo.com
To: “Picasso, Pablo” <guernica@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: Fwd: Re: ebay Item No. 091351817


Jimmy Chen lives in San Francisco and works at a large institution. He suffers from various undiagnosed personality disorders, and enjoys food. He can be found here.