Life with Picasso

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McGraw-Hill, 1964 - Painters - 373 pages
2 Reviews
Extensive portrait of the artist written by a woman who lived with him for 11 years and was the mother of two of his children.

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User Review  - bakersfieldbarbara - LibraryThing

An interesting book, but I kept wondering how Ms Gilot remembered all of what she wrote about. Did she take notes, knowing one day that she would write a book about her life with Picasso? If all of ... Read full review

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"But there are some things you can't spare other people," he said. "It may cost a terrible price to act in this way but there are moments in life we don't have a choice.".... I asked him how he arrived at that rationalization...."Theoretically one might say one hasn't the right to reach out for a share of happiness,however minute it might be, which rests on someone else's misfortune, but the question can't be resolved on that theoretical basis. We are always in the midst of a mixture of good and evil, right and wrong, and the elements of any situation are always hopelessly tangled. ..."
I told him I had often thought he was the devil and now I knew it.
-Francois Gilot
Reading "Life with Picasso" is really reading about any relationship with a psychopath. Except this psychopath was hailed as a child prodigy and celebrated during his lifetime as an artist of which there was no superior. Francoise's story might as well be a case study one would read in a psychiatry journal. Picasso is a textbook example of a psychopath.
A seemingly brilliant psychopath though I learned in Huffington's book he was barely literate and never learned to spell. He was good at imitation, mirroring and obfuscation. Basically he was a con man like those guys with the pea under the cup. Picasso kept everything moving so quickly and prodigiously the public and sycophants thought he was a leader, a trailblazer and some even thought a Messiah. Dora Maar- a mistress of Picasso's- was rumored to have said: "After God, Only Picasso."Maar had converted to Roman Catholicism due to a vision. The vision relayed in Gilot's book scared Picasso so, he had her institutionalized. Picasso stated Dora prophesied his damnation. Despite accusing her of being insane, a common condition victims of narcissists are branded with, he obviously feared her revelation. Diagnosing her insane allowed him to continue unabated in his debauchery and cruelty.
Carry on he did, with numerous women. Gilot documents with austerity Picasso's dalliances; she sensed immediately that her survival in a relationship with Picasso would be by accepting whatever he gave and expecting no more. A sentiment that is commonly felt by those in abusive relationships, the union was inherently one of master and sycophant. Though Gilot mostly likely did not end up dead by a self-inflicted, unlike one wife, one mistress and one grandson, wound because she was underneathe her naivety and youth, self-possessed. Picasso never had her entirely, even when she acquiesced and had a child at his seeming command,she did so because she wanted to and had another not because Picasso said it would ground her, read: tether her to him forever, but because she herself did not like being an only child. Gilot loved Picasso and learned much from him, but I would suspect now it was an education no one needs.
Reading this books having read others on Picasso, I am convinced his art was a snub at the divine. And act of an inmate who smears his shit on the wall, even though he has to live in the cell with the smell and the excrement. Picasso was capable of bridging art, of being the conduit that was lost, of being what the Greeks had, a canon; Picasso understood art, dissected it on his canvas,tore human frames apart but created nothing. His art was a refusal to submit, productions of a wannabe god. Reading Gilot, Huffington., Olivier, Mailer I became enchanted with Picasso's theories and thoughts, I longed to know him. Longed until I snapped out-of-it a bit shocked a long-dead narcissist could draw me in still, and realized he was full of shit and most of his works just the acts of an inmate.
Read the quote above, it's so alluring especially if you read it in context, in full. Picasso's circular logic twirls like an Escher print and charms like a promise of health, wealthy, beauty and love if..
If you: cheat, lie, steal, fornicate, imbibe... A priori to happiness is sacrifice so he anchors himself in


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