Life with Picasso (Anglais) Broché – 26 mai 1989
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|Broché, 26 mai 1989||
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How amazing to learn from his partner and mother to two of his children! I love this book! Francoise Gilot survived Picasso-(not everyone did!) but it took everything from her, and I think of her writing as a way of reclaiming her identity. She comes off as intelligent and fiercely aware of the ruthlessness of the man who made it to the top of the art world.
And, she is hilarious! You'll love the goat story, the sweater story, the once-in-a-blue-moon suit fitting story...all these stories are priceless and wonderful and give us something of the rich complexity of the man and his times-all whilst being wildly entertaining!
Picasso: Modern, Masculine, Procreative. And completely wrapped up in himself.
Gilot, like anyone who was part of Picasso's circle, has tended to disappear in the shadow he cast. Small wonder, as you see, when you read this book, how hungrily he devoured the energies and attention of all at hand. Gilot paid attention, though, and reports faithfully, quoting fascinating extended and insightful monologues of Picasso's on his thinking and painting -- his own and that of others -- some of which have been quoted so often as to lose sight of this source.
She also cites numerous instances of Picasso's devious double-think and manipulative behavior.
She doesn't hesitate to settle a few old scores, either, for Life with Picasso meant at some point Leaving Picasso, and she had clearly suffered her share of war wounds by then. She knew the extent of her devotion and the measure its worth - and she would not allow that to be violated.
Some parenthetical notes:
1. Charlie Rose produced a program of a one (TV) hour walk through of the Picasso Portraits exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art. His guide (I forget his name) relates that Picasso, when the book was published in the early 60's, said repeatedly, "It's just not done." He was perhaps The Modern Artist, but the modern world had gotten away from him. In the world he came from, outrageous behavior was an artistic attitude - a professional technique. One did not discuss private relations before the entire world. The illustration of his psychological profile must have left Picasso feeling truly naked, for it was the meat of his work.
In its time, this book surely appeared highly intimate, unabashedly discussing many then-taboo subjects. Picasso took pride in his openness in flouting just those conventions. It now seems almost quaint that none of what we today consider intimate is ever more than hinted at. The word "lovemaking" appears only once in passing reference. Gilot kept mainly to the path the relationship took and marking some of the turns in the road. Kiss-and-tell had not yet become the lifeblood of publishing and path to personal fame and fortune. Then again, Picasso wasn't exactly forthcoming with much in the way of financial support, I'll wager.
2. Long after this book's publication, in the years that followed Picasso's death, his grandson Pablito, his last (second legal) wife Jacqueline Roc, and Marie-Therese Walter all committed suicide.
Why, I don't know. But, apparently, surviving Picasso takes considerable character, and if you read the book with a bit of impartiality, glimpses of Francoise Gilot's strength of character do come through. One can readily picture (in black and white, it just seems to fit) the two of them glowering at each other across a room, sparks flying; or on the streets of Paris, having what would in its day have been called a lovers' quarrel.
Gilot stood up for herself and showed us something about what it was like, romantic, tender and passionate - and impossibly difficult.
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