Raw, adjective: 7. brutally or grossly frank: a raw portrayal of human passions

So you've been trucking along all these days just thinking that Max Weber was a renowned German sociologist who wrote brilliant shit criticizing bureaucracy and rationalization and linking Protestantism to the emergence of capitalism in the West, haven't you? I see you all nodding, I know. It's an easy mistake to make.

But little did you suspect that there was another Max Weber, this one less interested in Calvinist ethics and more interested in Cubism and Picasso. Well, thank yer lucky stars, because:

This painting is one of the many in the current Picasso & American Art show at the SF MoMa right now. It appears early in the show as sort of a counterpart to the unfolding of Cubism in the first part of the 20th century. It's called "Chinese Restaurant," painted in 1915 by my man Weber, and it positively writhes with energy when you see it up close. Somehow the Cubism makes the buzz and urban energy of the setting just jump out of the painting - you feel at once the strange comfort and isolation of anonymity, the dirt and the grime of the city, and the warmth of stepping in off the street for dim-sum in a dimly-lit restaurant.

Go see it. And then read a little Protestant Ethic & the Spirit of Capitalism when you're done. What a great Max Weber-themed day that'll be. Whoo baby, yeah.


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