The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

27 April 2007

Otherwise not known as the Red Period

David Pryce-Jones recalls a darker side of Pablo Picasso:

Pablo Picasso, it is generally appreciated outside museum circles, was an old fraud in matters of art, and a monster in all other spheres. Painting was to him primarily successful commerce. He behaved despicably to other people, especially women unfortunate enough to be his lovers. In politics, he was always on the make, backing whatever he thought was the winner. Guernica, his famous picture done during the Spanish civil war, was an exercise in being fashionably on the anti-Nazi side. But when the Germans occupied Paris in 1940, Picasso stayed, and his studio became a resort where German officers were welcome, especially when they bought his pictures. One such was Ernst Jünger, the cold-hearted but brilliant writer then on the German staff, and Picasso one day said to him that the two of them could bring about peace in twenty-four hours. Picasso was an outright collaborator, and after the war the Communist Party blackmailed him on that account. The Party threatened to expose him unless he made amends by marching at the head of the mass demonstration in Paris on May 1, 1945. Marching next to him was the singer Maurice Chevalier who similarly needed an alibi for his collaboration with the Germans. "One goes to the Communist Party as one goes to a spring of water," was how Picasso lied his way out of it at the time.

On the other hand, he was never called an asshole.

(Via Lastango.)

Posted at 4:52 PM to Almost Yogurt

TrackBack: 11:44 PM, 28 April 2007
» Nobody ever called Pablo Picasso an asshole from Victory Soap (v. 2.0)
But they should have. (Via Charles at Dustbury, from whom I also stole the idea for the title of my post -- but that's only because that song lyric came immediately to mind the minute I saw the words "Pablo Picasso"...[read more]

Picasso was the Andy Warhol of his era, except that Warhol was far less pretentious about matters of art and commerce. There was a whole emperor's new clothes thing about Picasso that few dared to penetrate in his lifetime.

Posted by: Mister Snitch! at 2:34 PM on 29 April 2007