Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Anniversary of Picasso's Death

Today is the anniversary of Pablo Picasso's death in 1973.

I don't know exactly what to say about Picasso. Over the years I've spent a lot of time with him. Reading. Going to exhibitions. Looking at pictures. Looking at paintings.

There was no one quite as versatile as Picasso in the 20th century. He was creative and proficient in virtually every medium. He was unbelievably prolific. He was phenomenally successful in financial terms.

He was a little nuts, I think.

He was a Communist when Communists really toed the Party line. But he never did. How he got away with it is a testimony to his power and his individuality.

He was an innovator. He was a copyist. He was an interpreter.

He was cruel and selfish. He was rude. He was acquisitive, yet sometimes quite generous.

He was cruel to his women. Look at this photo of him and Françoise Gilot, the only woman who ever actually left him and moved on. (She later married Jonas Salk.) What's he thinking? What kind of flower is this woman, really? How can I turn her into art? Too bad he couldn't turn his relationships into art, or more specifically, make an art form out of relationships.

People loved him. Or hated him. Or were obsessed with him. In later years, his ex-wife Olga followed him around and harassed him. Dora Maar never really got over him. Marie-Thérèse killed herself after Picasso died.

He loved the bull-fights. He admired the matadors.

He was superstitious.

He was a terrible poet. But he was a helluva painter.

Here's one of my favourite Picassos:

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Anonymous said...

I think it is the tragedy of a driven artist. They should only marry their art. They have more then one foot in the other world. I think they often have night mares. I know from one such an artist, (not so famous)that he often felt that he teetered on the edge of an abyss, and was terrified.

They can be very emotional and very hard. Cruel even. But maybe the cruel part is what is felt by women that fall in love with them. Those women should know better. But of course they don't. One cannot help falling in love.

Besides sex drive, there is no room in Picasso's for compassion and tenderness, other than what they express on canvas. So, women get hurt.

Gordon Lightfoot sings, "That's what you get for loving me." Grrrr!!!

Another musician, can't get at the name right now, sings, "I want you, I need you, I'm never gonna love you, now two out of three ain't bad..." grrrr!!! Oh, wait, that's from Bat out of Hell.'s That an album, or a group?

Are there women Picasso's that break men's hearts?

I have known one woman who was a possessed artist at weaving, including traveling to find natural materials for yarns and dies for colouring, and reading science fiction for ideas to create her master pieces. She had no time for her husband or her son. The poor kid was a mess. Her art was amazing.

Larry Keiler said...

1. Helluva memory Wild Thing. Bat out of Hell. That's by Meatloaf.

2. Picasso's oldest son, Paulo I think his name was, had a very hard time of it and never amounted to much I think. When he was older his father dominated and intimidated him. How can you ever expect to match or live up to arguably the greatest artist of the 20th century, and certainly the most celebrated? He drove motorcycles and showed off...

Anonymous said...

You wonder, if there is a progression in births,and you have to make up for old mistakes, what Picasso will have to go through in his next life.

Maybe he'll be an ant, his son the elephant gets to step on.

Isn't it strange that the most brilliant minds can be the most stupid too?

Driving motor cycles and showing off musthave been the reflection of some deep uncertainty, don't you think?

No way he can have been a happy man.

Oh ya. "Meatloaf! I even got one of those little clay figures named that way. The ones I all gave names to do with music, like Clapton, Pink Floyd, Neil Young, Prince, etc.

Help! I've written and I can't get up!