Picasso My Grandfather
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This family memoir of life in the shadow of "The Sun"-the twentieth century's greatest painter-who towered over the lives of his wives, children, and grandchildren, is told by Marina Picasso, the granddaughter of Picasso and his first wife, Olga Kokhlova, a former Russian ballerina who remained married to him until her death.
Writers, artists, and film stars installed themselves in Picasso's orbit, even as his family lived in impoverished conditions, in terror of provoking his displeasure, unable to carve lives and identities of their own for the control he exerted over their every move. After years of humiliation, her father drank himself to death. Then, the day after Picasso's death, her brother poisoned himself. Marina's own estrangement and subsequent breakdown followed, until at last, through grief and awakening, she found herself and came to terms with the blessings and curses of the Picasso legacy. The result is this fascinating and operatic account of her grandfather's first family.
Fame, tragedy, glamour, excess, passion, betrayal, and redemption: All the essential ingredients for a compelling family drama are in full force in this story of the private world of one of the great iconic figures of the last century.
bottom. I remember too the small boat that we appropriated and made seaworthy. It was an old, sea- and sand-worn dinghy, a wreck abandoned to its fate by fishermen. With a few boards, four nails, some tar and a coat of paint – unearthed God knows where – my friends and I patched it up so it could float. We would take turns going on board, two or three at a time, rarely more, row like galley-slaves, bale out like maniacs and swim back after having sunk a few yards from the shore. The odyssey
darkness, he worked on them at night in his studio. They had to be present, subservient and obedient. He taunted them with his paintbrush to the point of exhaustion: Verónicas in blue and orange; Faenas in fiery reds, crimsons and blacks. They were his prey. He was the Minotaur. These were bloody, indecent bullfights from which he always emerged the dazzling winner. Anything outside this malevolent alchemy did not interest him. All those who escaped or were no longer an object of his gluttony
drained by sorrow, has gone to bed. I look at my watch. It is a quarter to four. Every second counts. Tomorrow. If only tomorrow would come. Four o’clock. The telephone rings. The dreaded telephone. I pick it up, shaking. ‘It’s over. Your brother has passed away.’ It is 12 July. After a three-month ordeal, Pablito has breathed his last. He is dead. The press goes wild. On the radio, on television, in the magazines, all they talk about is my brother’s death. Or rather the death of ‘Picasso’s
containing my share of Picasso’s work, I flatly refused. I didn’t feel strong enough to face this final stage. Since I hated the man for the suffering that my brother and I had endured, I found it illogical for me to own anything by him. I couldn’t dissociate the artist from his work. I also inherited La Californie, with those gates that had kept us out, and its oppressive rooms that smelt of the forbidden. I didn’t want it. I decided to sell it and buy back my soul. I tried to get rid of it but
colours, clay, bronze, metal moulded themselves to his will. He subdued women and inert matter and made them his slaves. Though his life spanned the century, he didn’t live like his contemporaries. In fact, he didn’t see them. His life was a sketchbook, a book of images roughed out by his dazzling creativity. He didn’t recreate the world; he imposed his own. Throughout his life, in every period in his painting, he sought to track down the ephemeral and capture the moment. He wasn’t painting,