I have to admit that the images that appear in my head when I think of the great (and controversial) Pablo Picasso are images of him painting in southern France in shorts while his mistress tended to their French Riviera abode. Not being an art critic, or knowing much about early 20th Century art movements, I would be the first to admit that old photographs of Pablo at his Mediterranean studio have had an influence on me about the maestro. But like many of you out there, I have always loved his paintings, specially after my chance encounter with his Guernica masterpiece more than 30 years ago in Munich, Germany. This was a time when I could carry large cameras all day without my joints going on strike. Well, walking around Munich on a cold morning, I suddenly came face-to-face with a huge canvas billboard hanging from the outside wall of an art gallery (can’t even remember the name of the gallery now) with oversized letters spelling the name “Picasso.” My heart suddenly started pounding out of control and after scrounging the few Deutsche Marks I had in my pocket, in hastily stepped in to see by myself the work of the short Spaniard who used to live with his mistress down in southern France. And there it was: Guernica, in all of its majestic glory. To this day a small replica of this great painting hangs in my office to remind me of that experience and of the beauty of art and symbolism that transcends anything words could ever say. The small exhibit at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC is nothing but a reminder of Picasso’s artistic genius as it developed during the earlier part of his hugely productive life. It’s definitely worth a stop if you are in the area.