When I returned home after I had visited the Picasso exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW, I remembered a book I had bought a while ago at the Rozelle markets. It is called 'Picasso: Creator and Destroyer' by Arianna Stassinopoulos Huffington. After looking at the range of his work at the gallery and the different ways of expressing himself I got curious to find out more about this artist, even though I had never really warmed to his work. The book took me in straight away. The author did a thorough research and I got the feeling to get a good portrait of Picasso's personal life. That's what the book is mostly about. It does no go into the depth of his artistic creations but rather gives an impression of his social life, the people he spend time with and his torn personality. Picasso seems to have had such a powerful and charismatic appearance that people who met him wanted to be in his presence and were not able to withdraw from him and his magic. Picasso used his power to manipulate others and to promote himself as a genius of the artworld. I don't know enough about art to lead a profound discussion about his artistic achievements and that's why the book is perfect for me. I am interested in his life as a man, husband, father and lover.
The things that I will remember from this book, that made an impression on me or that did surprise me:
1. Francoise Gilot, the strongest of his partners. I will read her book.
2. Picasso was a coward.
3. Picasso and Braque were best friends.
4. Picasso, being a communist, received the Stalin Peace price.
5. Picasso's passion for bullfights.
6. Gertrude Stein
7. Picasso's involvemnt with Ballets