Picabia saw machinery as the prime metaphor of modern society and, particularly, of love. His most telling machine images were about sex. They present the act of love as a ballet of soulless machines, pistons inside cylinders, valves opening and closing, cogs driving other cogs. Though parts of his erotic gizmos are identifiable, their functions, beyond pushing, sliding and transmitting fluids, are not.
Robert Hughes, “Days of Antic Weirdness,” 2001