The spontaneous agility of the acrobat's body is an obvious model for the new plasticity of Picasso's developing biomorphism, pioneered by fellow Spaniard Joan Miro
. However, Miro rejected Cubist
space and used his neo-Neolithic shapes to define new spatial concepts of freedom, often without reference to human form. In contrast, Picasso's surreal explorations maintain some human identity.
Here, despite apparent freedom of movement, this figure is still trapped within the cube of the frame. It is also bound by the colours, which strangely imprison the motion of the body, as it is locked within a white form and then pinioned
against the implied stasis of the black background. This is spatial contortion, the paradox of movement and rigidity.
One presumes the figure is male, although there is an androgyny. It is a rare interlude in a period when so many works are disfigurations of the female form. Often Surrealist works contain some sexual reference or punning, so possibly
the weird, dangling phallic hand, similar to the pendulous penile limb formations of Woman in an Armchair (1929), is the joke. This globular phase soon died away as Picasso found a more lyrical energy by which to structure and
project the human form.