Who is Pablo Picasso?
`Poverty', a pen and ink work (1903)
BORN ON October 25, 1881, Pablo Picasso was, in the words of art critic Robert Hughes, "the very prototype of the modern artist as public figure." A child prodigy, (he did his first painting when he was eight) Picasso's output was prodigious through out his life.
He stands like a colossus in the world of 20th Century art and contributed and inspired to every movement of this century. If his paintings of the Blue and Rose period had symbolist leanings, his paintings in the 20s and 30s with their bizarre distortions of the human body were definitely surrealist. He did not subscribe to Expressionist theory that painting should reveal "the inner being of the author." Picasso demanded, "How can anyone enter into my dreams, my instincts, my desires, my thought and, above all, grasp from them what I have been about - perhaps against my own will?"
Picasso's paintings are ranked some of the most expensive with his Garcon a la Pipe going for $ 104 million. Who says art does not pay?
While Picasso believed that an artist must paint in order to be considered a true artist, his work in other media is equally inspirational. His creation of a guitar from tin in 1912 redefined the grammar of modern sculptor and collage was born out Cubism, which Picasso founded.
Love and life
Though Picasso treated his women shamefully - his famous "goddesses or doormats" comment about women did not earn him any brownie points - he had a string of lovers including two wives and four children by three women. His daughter, Paloma, with art student Francoise made a name in the fashion world. While Picasso made some strange political choices like enthusiastically supporting Stalin, his famous Guernica, about the German bombing of his native Spain has an interesting story. Apparently a Nazi officer appeared at Picasso's door demanding, "Did you do this?"
"No," Picasso is supposed to have said, "You did."
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