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: