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.
barbarity; he repudiated her after having glorified her so often in his paintings: ‘Olga à la mantille’, ‘Olga au col de fourrure’, ‘Olga lisant’, ‘Olga pensive’, not to mention many other Olgas, including the ‘Olga dans un fauteuil’ that lights up the hall of my house – a noble, enigmatic Vesta watching over me and my children. When that magnificent woman died, everything collapsed for Pablito and me. We were left alone with a father who came by to see us like a shooting star, and a mother who
light-hearted. For the first time since our arrival, Pablito and I are free to be real children. That garden at La Californie, with Pablito holding my hand, is my loveliest memory of my visits to Picasso. In summer, the rosemary bushes mixed their scent with the broom, bindweed besieged the flowering mimosa branches, and clusters of poppies, buttercups and wallflowers shot up everywhere. Wherever you looked, there was a jumble of wild grass and fragrant plants set off by palm, pine, cypress and
hospitals of Ho Chi Minh City, and organizes the digging of artesian wells in inland villages. It grants a subsidy to a village of retired people and veterans so that they can raise livestock and begin farming, and it gives scholarship help to two hundred students at the University of Daklat, in the north-east of Ho Chi Minh City. Because of the poor state of the children’s hospitals and their inadequate medical equipment, my Foundation, with subsidies from France, supports the renovation of two
represented. To them he was a showman. For a long time, without knowing why, I had a great tenderness for tramps. I used to picture my grandfather as a tramp under a bridge in Paris, the city he loved. I imagined him in his old sleeping bag, dirty and destitute, but so rich in his heart and so touching. I talked to him about everything and nothing; I explained that I was his granddaughter and just wanted to love him. For as long as I live, I will always regret never having been able to talk to
cling to each other at the foot of the radiator and sob silently while munching our miserable apple. We feel guilty. Even though all this happened years ago, I still sometimes wake up in tears from nightmares which resurrect and magnify these sounds and images: the screams, my mother with her claws out, my father brutally pushing her away, Pablito and his tooth-marks on the apple. And, in the background, my grandfather’s piercing eyes punishing me for still being alive. Since he knew his son