Read Picasso by Arianna Stassinopoulos Huffington Online


Huffington stips bare the romantic myths to reveal, in all its volatile complexity, Picasso's lifelong struggle between his power to create and his compulsion to destroy....

Title : Picasso
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9062914004
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 168 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Picasso Reviews

  • Chrissie
    2019-05-17 05:50

    In a biography I am looking for an impartial presentation. I neither like hagiographies or those biographies that negatively skew facts. The author of this book chooses to present a preponderance of negative over positive assertions concerning the artist, his life and his art. By book’s end, given such a negative presentation, I no longer trusted anything I was told. Much reads as gossip. Often we are told opinions of those involved in disputes. Tell me, how impartial can these views be?!I by no means am stating that Picasso was an angel. He was arrogant, cruel and self-centered. Humility was a concept foreign to the man’s character. Sex was paramount, both in his life and in his art. When he grew old and couldn’t perform sexually and as physical infirmities mounted, one can easily imagine the effect this had on him. When he died at the age of 91 he was not thinking clearly, but who does? I feel that a biographer must take such into consideration if a balanced analysis of the subject’s personality is to be achieved. Picasso’s personality and his family circumstances are covered but not in a balanced manner. Picasso was an innovative painter, sculptor, ceramicist, printmaker, poet and playwright. He was always doing something new! He never stood still in his practice of art. In trying new art forms he looked at and listened to others, then broke all the rules. What he did, he did in his own way, and what he did worked! He expressed in his art an essence that few others could achieve. The book moves forward chronologically and all his different art forms are covered. We follow his paintings from the “Blue Period” to experiments with primitive art to different types of cubism to the “Green Period” to Dadaism to Surrealism and sexualism in art. And of course Guernica, not an art form but a monument of art expression. Along the way we follow his family, his lovers, his acquaintances and his communist ties. When I look at art I don’t want it explained, and certainly not by one who dislikes the art and who dislikes the person who made it. If the artwork doesn’t speak to you, then so be it. I feel strongly that art should be separated from the actions of those who create it. I can strongly dislike the behavior of an artist and yet still appreciate that person’s art. I believe Huffington intertwines the two.What I did like in this book is the author’s presentation of the other artists that Picasso rubbed shoulders with in Montparnasse and Montmartre at the turn of the 20th century, Paris of the Belle Époque era. I personally was interested in what we are told about Gertrude Stein, Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, Henri Rousseau, Alberto Giacometti, Guillaume Apollinaire, Marc Chagall, Jean Cocteau, and Sergei Diaghilev. Interesting tidbits and lots about how each of them interacted with the others. I did point out that there is a lot of gossip to be found within the pages of this book. The nastiest portions focus on how the mistresses, wives, children and servants viewed one another. Such gossip doesn’t lead to a better understanding of relationships. People were devoted to Picasso. As he is drawn here, this is incredibly hard to believe. I see this as a major fault of the book. Picasso said, “It is not what an artist does that counts, but what he is.“ Surely this will give food for thought in observing Picasso’s own life. Picasso was a seismograph of his age. He lived from 1881 - 1973. He was tormented and filled with rage. He challenged and he shocked. One perhaps can rightly ask if in his art one senses heart. Maybe in some, but in others that is quite simply not the message Picasso is trying to convey. We are told that Huffington has interviewed several who knew Picasso and has researched documentation that already exists. The book is studded with quotes, but some of them are from unspecified sources. She has spoken to Françoise Gilot, one of his numerous mistresses and the mother of two of his four children. She has in fact written her own biography on Picasso: Life with Picasso. Personally, I would recommend reading that rather than getting the second hand references as they are presented here.The audiobook is narrated by Wanda McCaddon. She reflects through her intonation the feelings the author expresses in her lines. I think a narrator should help the reader understand what an author is saying, so I have no complaint about this. I must point out that to listen to the audiobook I was forced to slow down the narration speed to 75%. Only at this speed did it flow naturally. Only at this speed did it sound as people really do talk! At other speeds you will detect a distortion.

  • Bill
    2019-05-16 07:57

    Not bad. Picasso is certainly a much more intriguing character than Arianna Huffington's writing style. It was a good read once I got over her style and (to me) odd sentence structure coming out of left field every once in a while.Good overview of Picasso's life that makes me want to explore his life a bit more. I'm eying Francoise Gilot's "Life with Picasso" because it purportedly sheds much more light on his work methods and approaches to his work, and as an artist herself as well as one of his wives, it has a lot to offer. The book is well documented and apparently A.R. had access to a number of people in Picasso's life that had not given interviews before. Without having read any other books about Picasso's life, I'd hazard an opinion that this one does a pretty good job.

  • Heidi
    2019-06-06 13:01

    Quite fascinating. Some people have been critical because it is so negative on him and his relationships on women, but based on the evidence I don't think much of the criticisms are too far off. Particularly interesting is his relationship with Francoise Gilot, the one woman he wounded but didn't destroy. She paid a heavy price for her rebellion against him, however.

  • Azra
    2019-06-05 06:53

    My first thought when I finished this book was, "Wow." Before I read this book, I thought of Picasso as an incredible artist but a pig of a man because of the way he had treated the women in his life, as well as his children. After reading this book, that impression was not dispelled. I'm not entirely sure the "wow" was because of what he did to the women in his life or because he ended up a victim of his own game, in the guise of Jacqueline, at the end of his life. The book itself is very information dense, particularly in the beginning when Picasso leaves Spain for Paris. It would seem Picasso was always up to something, whether it was a new way of painting, a new woman or new people to adore him. It would also seem that Picasso never learned the lesson of "what you seek, if you don't find it within you, you will never find it without." He was always seeking that ultimate painting, that one woman or that one friend who would completely fulfill him and always failing. Just when he was on the verge of finding fulfillment, he set about destroying it. The man left, not a trail, but an interstate's worth of people behind him that he had crushed, humiliated or completely destroyed throughout his life.The one woman who survived living with Picasso reasonably intact did so because she refused to completely give in to him. She always found some way to more or less keep her center, despite his abuse. The other women in his life ended up broken in many ways and the stronger they seemed to be when they met Picasso, the worse they fell. Dora Maar seemed to get the worse of it, ending up in an asylum for a time. His children didn't seem to fare much better, considering their father lost interest in them and eventually abandoned them. This was not an easy book for me to read, yet at the same time it was as if I was witnessing a lifelong trainwreck. I couldn't look away. Toward the end, it should have been easy to feel as if Picasso had gotten what he deserved in the form of Jacqueline, who proceeded to completely isolate him from the world. She also forced him to depend on her for almost everything outside of painting by playing on his fears and paranoia. Instead, I was left shaking my head at all the damage this one man did to so many of those around him, even after his death. All because they dared to love him. Wow, indeed.

  • Marti
    2019-05-27 09:44

    Harkening back to an earlier book I read "The Psychopath Test" by Jon Ronson, I believe they would have to invent a whole new test for Pablo Picasso because he would be off the charts. However, the Modern Lovers' ode to the artist is accurate in that "nobody ever called Pablo Picasso an asshole" (at least not while he was alive). So great was his ability to manipulate his sychophants that he became a worldwide symbol of Peace and humanity. In private, he makes Salvador Dali and Gala look like The Waltons (and they were also egomaniacs who were seriously lacking in empathy). Only one of his long term partners, Francoise (an artist in her own right and mother of Picasso's children Claude and Paloma) managed to escape without becoming a deranged, dependent (she later married Dr. Jonas Salk). It is her story which is the source of many of the gory details. While Picasso did have the ability to charm, this book makes it clear that he did so only to lure people into some sort of humiliating trap.Having seen a fair number of Picasso's paintings I can say that some made more of an impression than others. However, knowing the context in which they were created, would make them a lot more interesting to me were I to revisit them. Arianna Huffington is not an art historian, which was one of the main criticisms leveled at this biography. However, it is not meant as art history as much as straight biography. Anyone looking to immerse themselves in early 20th century "Café Society" (as well as those who cannot resist looking at a train wreck) will not be able to put this book down.

  • Zuzana Karasova
    2019-05-20 06:42

    I had read my first book on Picasso already when I was a teenager and it was the well-known ‘Life with Picasso’ by Françoise Gilot. I could not understand back then why actually Picasso got married to that Russian ballerina Olga Koklova. Now I know it thanks to this very thorough and systematic biography by Arianna Stassinopoulos Huffington. I did not know as well that one of Picasso’s numerous names was Juan Nepomuceno after his godfather. I was surprised to know how very sociable he was. ‘I have no true friends; I have only lovers,’ Picasso would say. Jean-Jacques Rousseau confessed somewhere that he used to be in love with every woman he met as well. How different he seemed to be however from Picasso whose bisexual relationships were full of violent rage and even sadism. ‘It was the language of power which Picasso understood and spoke fluently.’ In my opinion, the twentieth century was peopled with such Nietzschean Supermen. Most interesting for me was reading about Picasso’s struggle not getting older. How he pretended he was untouched by age. How he began to suffer from people’s presence. Moreover, as his health took a turn for the worse, there appeared futility, disgust, nightmares, and paranoia.I liked the author’s Epilogue very much too. I can only agree that Picasso ‘brought to painting the vision of disintegration that Schoenberg and Bartok brought to music, Kafka and Beckett to literature.’

  • Susan Liston
    2019-06-08 08:57

    Wow. This was actually kind of depressing, Picasso was just so awful in so many ways. And yet how fascinating to have been able to meet him for yourself, obviously he had a tremendous ability to keep everyone in his thrall, so there must have been something there aside from his artistic talent. (Maybe I just can't imagine fighting another woman for a man, like his poor ladies warred with each other...especially when he deliberately set it up for his own amusement...hey honey, you win, you can have the SOB and good luck to you.) But whatever one's final thoughts on Pablo, his story does make for engrossing reading.

  • Jennifer Miller
    2019-06-12 11:55

    As a lover of art, I was fascinated by Picasso's life, that is, until I read it and realized he was a profound monster who hated women as well as any other artist who dared cross his path. Unforunately, I'll never look at his work again without it being overshadowed by his attempt to destroy the lives of every person he came in contact. Particularly horrific was how he allowed one of his best friends to die in a concentration camp rather than sign a letter to free him.

  • Caren
    2019-05-20 05:33

    I went into this book knowing little about Picasso aside from the myth that he created around himself and finished with a much deeper understanding of who he was as a person... Really illuminated the anger, myth, and misogyny in his work. Definitely recommend this one- well written- as much as I ended up not liking Picasso the man, I couldn't put the book down!

  • Hatuxka
    2019-06-07 08:39

    This was written in the right wing portion of Arianna Huffington's career. Melodramatic, overwrought and seems almost totally focused on condemnation of the bad character traits and communism of Picasso. It's an entertaining if not illuminating biography.

  • Dojiang
    2019-05-30 10:02

    written like a soap-opera

  • Catherine Tammaro
    2019-06-06 05:46

    Got tired of reading about what a creep he was. Gave up.

  • Staren
    2019-06-01 06:44

    I have never been especially interested in Picasso — neither as an artist, nor as a personality, so I chose this book quite randomly. The reading (listening) was VERY contradictory. The book is very well written, informative and emotional simultaneously, and the story overall looks more like an interesting novel (I actually permanently had a strong impression that I was listening to something like an adult version of “Howl’s Moving Castle”).However, I hated the content )). WHAT A JERK PICASSO WAS!At first, I was just “not interested” in his story and his personality, but considered it a commonplace thing. Lives of many famous people mostly consist of changing sexual partners and moving from town to town and drinking and trying drugs and hanging around with friends and so on. Great life for them, boring and empty for me.Later, though, it became obvious that Picasso was an extremely mean and disgusting person, especially in relations with his friends, his women, and his children. His favorite entertainment was creating situations where people felt very awkward and unsettled. He adored scandals and always intentionally collided people against each other. During his life, he betrayed several of his friends, and one of this betrayal was lethal for this friend (he died in Nazi’s labor camp, while all his friends tried to release him, but Picasso, who was quite influential, just refused to do anything about it and just laughed about this mishap).I’ll even quote from this part of the book, it’s very typical for Picasso:“IN FEBRUARY of 1944, the same month that Picasso and Françoise set out haltingly on their journey together, Max Jacob was arrested at Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire and sent to the detention camp at Drancy, a stop on the long journey to Auschwitz or Dachau. On his way he wrote to Cocteau: “Dear Jean, I’m writing this on a train out of the kindness of the gendarmes who surround us. We will very soon be in Drancy. This is all I have to say. Sacha, when they talked to him about my sister, said: ‘If it was him, I could do something!’ Well, it is me. I embrace you. Max.” The restraint of his plea made his agony all the more poignant. From Drancy one last appeal reached his friends in Paris: “May Salmon, Picasso, Moricand do something for me.”His friends had already begun to mobilize all the support they could find. Cocteau drew up a moving letter about Jacob, about the reverence in which he wes held by the French youth, about his invention of a new language that dominated French literature, about his renunciation of the world. And in a discreet postscript he added: “Max Jacob has been a Catholic for twenty years.” The appeal was personally delivered to von Rose, the counselor in charge of pardons and reprieves at the German embassy, who, miraculously, was a lover of poetry and an admirer of Jacob’s work. Conspicuously absent from the petition’s signatories was Picasso. His silence in behalf of one of his oldest and most intimate friends was thundering. When Pierre Colle, Jacob’s literary executor, went to the rue des Grands-Augustins to ask him to use his considerable authority with the Germans to intervene in Jacob’s behalf, he refused, crowning his indifference with a quip: “It is not worth doing anything at all. Max is a little devil. He doesn’t need our help to escape from prison.”On March 6 von Rose announced that he had succeeded in obtaining a liberation order signed by the Gestapo, and a few of Jacob’s friends left immediately for Drancy. There they were informed that Jacob was dead. He had died the day before of pneumonia, fatally weakened by the conditions in prison and the freezing cold in his damp, filthy cell. The “little devil” had flown out of his prison through death. Did the Germans know that Jacob was dead when they signed the liberation order? Or was this a genuine reprieve that arrived too late? And would Picasso’s intervention have made a difference?”He treated all his women like doormats (this term, “doormat,” is notoriously repetitive in the book). He was an abuser, a manipulator, and an everyday cheater. He left his children without support and love. It looks like he never had anything humane in him.Add to this also his “love affair” with Communists, and a portrait of an abominable moron will be complete.I can only wonder what he had in him that charmed other people and made them adore him and follow him, while he always mindlessly walked over them all and destroyed their lives if they were so careless as to hand them to him.He was just a jerk, evil and disgusting. He made people suffer, especially the people that loved him and were emotionally and socially dependent on him, — and enjoyed their sufferings. All. His. Life.I am not sure that I would ever be able to look at his art without this disgust… I believe that it is wrong to talk about “a genius” if the person is inherently evil. His life is part of his art as well as his art is part of his life. His “creative legacy” include not only pictures and sculptures but also sufferings and betrayals of many people — it would be useful to remember this.

  • Glenn Robinson
    2019-06-02 05:41

    According to this bio, Picasso was a world class misogynistic jerk. A fair bio, but one that presented that he was an uncaring communist who neglected the women in his life and turned his back on his many children, legit and illegitimate. The weakness of this bio is that the bio jumps from quick to quick to different stages of his life without bridging over from the previous chapter. New people are entered into the bio without too much explanation, old people dropped with the same and it was apparent that a great deal of info lacking. His movement in the Communist party was discussed, but barely.Overall, an OK bio.

  • Jess
    2019-06-13 13:55

    Plot: Once a genius, always a genius. At an early age Pablo Ruiz Picasso had shown how his hands can work like a true magician and creator. He even probably first mastered the stroked of his hands before he even learned how to talk. Pablo’s main point of living is between him and his paintings, nothing else. People know him as Picasso-Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruíz y Picasso (his whole name)- only picasso. But what were missing is the picasso as a creator and destroyer. A man who’s burning passions are for painting,for women and for ideas. He invented how ranged and obsessions can be drawn to canvasses. The man who emerged with a great contradiction of the crucified christ, an avowed atheist. A man who immensely create a wrath against humanity,woman and himself. “I don’t seek-I find”…”I don’t give-I take” -Picasso His fathomless sadism to make people vow to his feet had been his mastered ability. The master manipulator had connected the chain from one mistress to another mistress. He is irresistible, a compelling personality to feminines eyes. He became the man of every woman, and a revelation to public’s eyes. His exuberant life as a sexually dominant man, cast dramatically the women in his life: Fernande Olivier, an elegant and beautiful first mistress. Macelle Humbert, whom he rechristened as “EVA” and who unfortunately died of tuberculosis. Olga Koklova, a russian ballerina, who he married probably the right one for society but not for life. Marie Therese Walter, young and always a willing victim of his sexual sadism, who later committed suicide. Dora Maar the intellectual muse of surrealism. Froncoise Gilot,the gifted painter and the only one who had the courage to leave him. And Jacqueline Roque, the perfect woman for his old age, who also committed suicide. Picasso’s thousand paintings was the result of the dramatic and primitive life he had portrayed. Emerged a complex relationship of ranged,admirations,jealousy and hatred to different creative geniuses of his time: Braque,Matisse,Cocteau,Gertrude Stein,Juan Gris,Hemingway.His intense and bleak perception for humanity had brought him to be at war with the universe.Traveled around Europe back and forth to reborn his attachment to his paintings as well as to ditch the unnecessary baggage of his past. But unlike his timeless paintings, its creator aged. During his eightieth years, he became more and more frustrated, and impossible to reach by everyone. His courage to face the truth became the courage to deny and shove everybody away form him. The predator has finally found its own consuming monster of fate.His self is betraying its own.Until the Time came that the great magicians pulled the bunny out of the hat to be taken away by the shadow of DEATH.Review: ”People change but memories remain.When death touches our fate, everything just begins to fall apart.- Arianna has brought not only the story of the Great Picasso, but the inescapable truth about reality.”

  • Sara Murphy
    2019-06-09 06:36

    I only read this to pass the time and because I have simply run out of things to read at this point. I came across this book as I was sifting through my local library and it was sitting on a cart off to the side, seemingly untouched. I picked the book up and could not put it down (this does not mean it was good, necessarily, only that it happened to pique my interest).Huffington's well-researched book about the life of Pablo Picasso felt more like a chronological timetable of here-say and gossip-mongering than an objective biography about an artist. The gossip is decades old and not as shocking in 2015 as it may have been in 1988 when the book was published. Nevertheless, it occupied my mind enough but still left me craving a little more. Perhaps because I like to paint with oils from time to time, I wished I knew more about the kind of paint he like to use or where he got his canvases from or what kind of technique he applied or even how he handled the pressure of a blank canvas in front of him. I could care less about the man's torrid love affairs or the sycophants that seemed to only make the his ego worse. I wanted to read a different text at times but for the most part, you ended up learning a great deal about the women in his life which was such a profound influence on the art he created. Picasso was nothing without the women in his life. Without them, there might not have been a Picasso. Part of me felt a loathing for Picasso while reading the book but then questions arose in my mind about cultures, differences in time/perception or about whether or not genius (if there is such a thing) excuses behavior that might otherwise be considered unusual. Was he a genius or a fiend? It seems that at times he considered himself a genius and at times he felt like a fraud. Regardless, I like Picasso the man less now than I previously did and it has made me see his art in a different context.One could look at his art and see the century and turmoil of the times inextricably linked with the rage and chaos he painted. One could also see a frenzied search for meaning or a passionate outpouring of creativity so relentless that it consumed the man. One could see a bunch of nonsense in his art and can see a man lead by his hedonism into an ego-centric life. One could see a number of things, each one of us able to draw a different conclusion with the same information.I now find myself combing through page after page of color plates and looking at the portraits in a newer way. I always felt a frenzied, dissatisfied madness within his art but now I understand why that is. Perhaps understanding is better than liking something anyway.

  • Craig Adamson
    2019-05-29 08:58

    When I picked up this book I didn't know of or pay attention to the author. So as I read the book it was refreshing that someone with her political leanings didn't enter or permeate her writing. The amount of research, despite being a recent biography in chronological time, I believe is a great service to the reader. Lots of first-hand interviews from people with intimate knowledge of the artist populate the book.Having been to Spain to see Guernica and some of his other paintings at the Prada, as well as taking an art and design history course as a college freshman gave me more of an appreciation for his leadership in the art world. Despite being the son of an art teacher, I never had much interest in his works prior to college. Ironically, I now have little interest in following him as an artist. He's a beast of a person.The author does a great job of laying out his life from birth to death. To me, it seemed the story of his life was laid out as is. Not holding back much in favor or against the artist. The book became increasingly difficult to read as he uses up woman after woman, friend after friend which started by him using up his parents... particularly his father.The main thing I took away from the story of Picasso's life is that when you are a cruel person, an atheist, and possibly a Communist... there is not much in life to look forward to and enjoy. Despite the the fame and fortune he created with his art, Picasso was a small (figuratively and literally) man. Someone who left a mark in the Art World, but left many marks -more appropriately... stains- on the lives of all the people who came to be close to him.I appreciate the author's work very much even though I will never read this book again. In fact, I'm looking forward to passing it along to my brother to read (since he studied in Spain for a year) and then donating it for someone else to read, learn, and probably walk away disappointed in learning the true nature of Picasso.

  • Joshua Morris
    2019-05-27 05:47

    Arianna Huffington had an axe to grind with this book (the title is evidence of this weapon) and she did so with extensive research and engaging intensity. I was looking for a one volume biography of Picasso. Despite the enormity and importance of the subject, there aren't many of those, and this one covers the master destroyer from cradle to grave.It's hard to articulate what makes an artist great in prose. Their art needs to be experienced, especially one whose work is directly tied to their life experience. On the page, that talent is a given, so the life history in this case is a litany of selfishness and perverse cruelty, to his friends and family, but most brutally to the women and children in his life, three of whom committed suicide, and all but one of whom were destroyed. The one who survived, Francoise Gilot, seems to have the floor for at least half the book, and Huffington says as much in her preface. Gilot has her own well known book, which I may read. I'm sure it's kinder to him than this one. In this book, every action and choice of Picasso's, starting with his choice of residences, the cynical commissions he accepts for his art, to his relationship and betrayals of friends, to his communist politics, his relationship with his children, is spun with ugly and perverse motives. The saving grace, if you can call it that, is his destructive and dehumanizing actions against loved ones are interesting and as original as his art. He does not destroy anything or anybody the same way twice. The book is an extremely readable, page turner, despite Huffington's quirky prose style, which is not unlike her articulate but eccentric speaking style. If you are looking for a one volume but extensive biography without too much technical art jargon, this one will fit the bill with one proviso: Try to see and experience as much of his work as possible before reading. Only then will you care enough to understand why Picasso even matters and why this bastard is worth reading about.

  • Mike Tracy
    2019-06-14 05:50

    This was not an average biography of Picasso. It was sometimes grueling, sometimes maddening and sometimes difficult to follow the flow of the language. Arianna Huffington's prose style, at least in this book, is a bit choppy and I found myself re-reading passages because I lost the meaning as the sentences sometimes seemed to be constructed at angles. For instance: ..."Despite his protestations that he would do everything in his power to ensure that art would 'continue to be an aim, under no pretext merely a means,' Breton persisted in the thankless task of seeking to reconcile Marxism with art unencumbered by social realism."Now, this is not an incorrect sentence, but it seems like it could be smoothed out a bit for easier reading. Unfortunately much of the book is written like this and it takes a while to get used to this voice. Another issue is the complete destruction of the holy hagiographic image of Picasso that I, and others, have brought with us through the last part of the twentieth century. Huffington starts out low and slow, but, by mid book, she is taking a sledgehammer to Picasso's image, probably deservedly so. In one particularly harrowing anecdote she retells an incident where Picasso holds a lit cigarette to Francoise Gilot's cheek, burning her in an effort to punish her for an imagined slight. According to Huffington, Picasso was a grand sadist, both psychologically and physically, to his friends, acquaintances and, in particular, to his women.Huffington doesn't spend a great deal of time examining any of the aesthetic concerns dealing with Picasso and his oeuvre, which is OK, as this has been done over and over by card-carrying art historians; no need to recover that ground.Having listed these picky objections to the book, I would say it's worth the time, especially if one wants the lurid backstory of this giant/monster of twentieth century art. More pictures would have been nice.

  • Lisa Van Oosterum
    2019-05-22 11:52

    This book consumed me for 4 days. Admittedly, I did not know that much about the tormented life of Pablo Picasso, so I was riveted by the story of his life foremost. However, Huffington's writing was intelligent and concise. It was juicy without being gossipy and detailed without getting tedious. She fought the urge to paint him as a monster, but Picasso really does that for himself. I am most fascinated with the women who, after intense years of abuse, choose to remain in his orbit, simply to be near him and his genius. So many of them!! Francois Gilot, the one woman who did leave him, is a fascinating and intelligent woman. I want to read her autobiography next.

  • Lauren
    2019-05-18 10:46

    How do you like a book about a man who is so self centered that he destroys everyone around him? The most captivating part of the book for me was reading about Francoise, the one woman who actually had the strength to see things for how they really were and leave him. Picasso the artist may have been groundbreaking but Picasso the man was tormented, selfish, and utterly despicable... with a God complex, I should add. I read this book because I've always felt repulsed by his work. I never liked him but I never knew why. Now I know.

  • Varmint
    2019-06-04 05:55

    How can a man hate women that much and still be straight? Creator and Destroyer focuses on the relationships. The way his women affected his life, career, and the paintings themselves. Huffington has a certain lack of credibility with me. But if this book even come within a mile of the truth, Picasso was a monster. I now feel compelled to find another biography and cross check some of these things.

  • Jerome Baladad
    2019-05-23 12:56

    have read this book over 15 ago, but i recall having enjoyed getting to know Picasso up close by poring into the contents of this thick book. Picasso's been a great painter, a great drawing artist (you'd never thought that a pioneering abstract painter drew so many well-crafted pieces of drawings before going exclusively abstract in his style), a mean individual, a horrible enemy, and an unknown misogynist beneath all these accomplishments he's got!

  • Scott Holstad
    2019-05-26 05:40

    This is the second book on Picasso I didn't finish. Why? He was a royal prick, with a capital P! I love the man's art. He's my favorite artist. So, it's painful to read about the destruction he caused in the lives of those around him as well as his own. Finally, after 141 pages, I gave up. Maybe I'll never try another book on Picasso. He was just too much of an animal and I don't want to dampen my enthusiasm for his artwork any further. Pity.

  • Goretti Almeida
    2019-05-31 10:59

    Excellent retrospective on Picasso's personal life and what was happening and what influenced his paintings (scupltures, etchings, and drawings) at different times in his life. The book does not paint a rosy picture...he was an incredible narcisist and misogynist. I will never look at a Picasso in the same way again...

  • Roseanne Wilkins
    2019-05-27 08:56

    This was a fascinating inside look at Picasso. If you ever wondered why you cringed whenever you looked at a Picasso, wonder no more. I could never appreciate his work. The man was a genius at self-promotion, but he was an awful artist. He was also an abusive man who hated women. It shows in his art.

  • Bob Schnell
    2019-05-23 08:47

    Oh my, what an unflattering, yet thoroughly absorbing, portrait of Pablo Picasso and the narcissistic circus that surrounded him. Like the car wreck you can't stop staring at, you want to look away from each new atrocity but keep on reading anyway. I did learn a lot, though, and thought it well worth my time.

  • Tamara
    2019-05-27 05:44

    Arianne did a great job with writing this book. Unfortunately, Picasso's ugliness overwhelmed me and made me not like this creative genius. Destroyer is a fantastic term for him, as so many lives were shattered by his sadistic nature. He must have been very insecure in his fame to succeed in his mysogeny . I am very sad to find this out about someone the art world reveres.

  • Jmolentin
    2019-05-27 11:53

    Quite look and detailed, written in the old style with footnotes and documentation of where the author found the information she restated. Not like now, where you can say anything you like and do not have to provide any back up.

  • Heidi
    2019-06-08 10:54

    Arianna Huffington portrays Picasso as a sadistic manipulator and controller of women in this entertaining biography. Whether it's 100% accurate, I can't be sure. Ms. Huffington is no mean manipulator herself.