One of the things I love about public relations is how I am constantly learning new things about a variety of subjects. Recently, I have been transported back to a time and place when Nazis roamed and artists were forced into hiding. But I haven’t been learning about just any artist, I’ve been exploring one of the most famous artists of all time – Pablo Picasso.
For the past month I have been spreading the message of Jeff Mitchum’s newest acquisitions, extremely rare images of Picasso in his Paris studio during World War II, and met Jeff at KNPR’s studio for an interview.  The photographs to be discussed were shot by Richard Ham and offer a glimpse into Picasso’s private life. Writing the press materials was a lesson in history, but what was particularly interesting was hearing Jeff’s intimate knowledge on the subject (if he hadn’t become a fine art photographer, he would have been a teacher).
When the host of State of Nevada asked him what makes a portrait famous, Jeff remarked that it is always the eyes. He went on to talk about Picasso’s personality and how he had a tendency to flit from one subject to another, not necessarily with his speech, but with his eyes. He was always moving and taking in every detail of his surroundings. So, for Ham to have captured Picasso’s eyes in such a way as to offer the observer a glimpse of stillness was an extraordinary accomplishment in itself. After hearing Jeff’s comment, I looked at the images more closely and it was absolutely true. You can see Picasso’s eyes, full of intrigue and mystery, either intently focused or looking off into the distance at something that had caught his attention. It makes me wonder what genius was bubbling up from the depths at that very moment. 
I also learned a story behind a postcard of Picasso’s portraying his famous image Guernica. The painting, and postcard, shows the bombing of the city by Spanish Nationalist forces during the Spanish Civil War. When the Nazis found the circulating postcard, they deemed it “decadent” and brought it to the doorsteps of Picasso to ask the artist if he had done this. Picasso apparently replied, “No, you did this.” Needless to say, he went into hiding shortly after. Now, some 65 years later, these rare photographs are on display and available to the public at Jeff’s gallery inside Bellagio. They are truly remarkable portraits of a remarkable man with a remarkable story and a definite must-see in Las Vegas. 
You can listen to Jeff’s interview on KNPR by clicking here.