August 9, 2009

Life with Picasso by Francoise Gilot

7 of 10: Life with Picasso would be better for someone really interested in art, but even for a total art idiot like me, it was fairly interesting.

I won't pretend I wasn't totally terrified when Ashley picked this book. I am. . . not really any art person. Illustration in children's books is as far as I go.

But then, when I finally got a copy of it and started reading it, I found myself thinking, "This is exactly why I started up 'Tell Me What To Read.'" I would never ever have picked up this book on my own, but I'm glad to have read it.

It's written by Francoise Gilot, a woman about 30 years younger than Picasso, who lived and had two children with him over the space of ten years. She's an artist too, so she has a lot to say about his art and the work he was doing.

It's really an interesting look at his life as an older man, his personality, and the huge fame he reached during his lifetime.

Sadly, this book convinced me that Picasso was an unbelievable jerk. I started marking sections to quote here about all the mean, selfish things he did, but if I were to include them all, this post would be 100,000 words long. You'll have to take my word for it.

This book also made me break my not-really-a-rule rule and read the last section before I got there. I was just getting bored with all the discussion about weird sculptures he was doing and was ready for more about the actual people. Afterward, I went back and finished up the middle sections.

It's a little long and detailed, I think, to be something I'd recommend to everyone - there are easier ways to learn about Picasso's life and works, but if you were a major art enthusiast, it'd probably be worth your time.

4 comments:

  1. I've been wanting to read this one but was kind of intimidated. Guess I don't have to be!

    Finding out how Picasso treated his women really put me off his works for a while, and even now it's the first thing I think of whenever I see anything he did hanging in a museum. I hate it when great artists/writers/whoever turn out to be jerks.

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  2. You may recall seeing his "sculptures" at the Bellagio Art Museum a couple of years ago. They are only famous because his hands touched them. A kindergarten student would have been asked to try again.

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  3. I have wanted to read this book, so it was good to see a review. I like art, so may enjoy the "art" parts. The artist being a jerk sortof reminds of "Loving Frank" that I read a few months ago.

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  4. I'm glad you kind of enjoyed it. In Picasso's defense- he had a really messed up first marriage to a woman who treated him very terribly. It is only alluded to in the book. And his childhood was no picnic either. :)
    I think I recommended this one because my mind keeps mushing Merrick and you together a little bit. My apologies!

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