"Pablo Picasso" is a song written by Jonathan Richman for the proto punk group the Modern Lovers. The song was recorded in 1972 at Whitney Studios in Los Angeles, and produced by John Cale, but was not released until 1976, on the Modern Lovers' self-titled debut album. The recording featured Richman (lead guitar, vocals), Ernie Brooks (second guitar), Jerry Harrison (bass) and David Robinson (drums), with Cale playing the repetitive hammered piano part.
The central character of the song is the charismatic 20th century artist Pablo Picasso. With dry wit, the lyrics suggest that women never rejected Picasso's romantic advances, despite his short stature. "Well he was only five foot three but girls could not resist his stare / Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole / Not in New York". In a 1980 interview, Richman stated that the song was inspired by his own adolescent "self-consciousness" with women.
David Bowie covered the song in 2003 on his album Reality; a live version recorded at Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, London on 8 September 2003 was released on the 'Tour Edition' of Reality