‘Life with Picasso’ is an autobiography of Francoise Gilot, a French painter and one of Pablo Picasso’s lovers and muses. The autobiography depicts intimate revelation of Gilot’s life with the legendary Spanish artist, as well as his works, personalities, perspectives and friends including the famous people he was associated with.
When they first met, Picasso was 62 and Gilot was 21. She went ahead doing what she thought was right for her by going against her father’s wishes and becoming a painter, with the force of inspiration from Picasso.
After she left her parents’ house, Gilot moved in with her loving, open-minded grandmother. A persistent man Picasso was, he then was able to persuade Gilot to live with him. They were together for ten years, having a son named Claude and a daughter named Paloma.
Like any true artist, Picasso was a promiscuous manipulative genius who knew exactly what he wanted, and was not afraid of pursuing things. From the book, I found Picasso’s selfishness and manipulative behaviour to be extremely irritating and childish. If you weren’t tough with the guy, he’d play you like a card.
A man and a talented artist, Picasso was complicated and had the ability to seduce any woman he desired and pushed them over the edge when the passion ran out. While he was with Gilot, Picasso was still involved with new young lovers and a few of his old flames who went a little wild from being still emotionally attached with the cold and complicated Picasso.
A strong-willed woman she was, Gilot could very well handle Picasso when they were still together. Although several decades his junior, Gilot seemed to be the much more mature one in the relationship. After a ten-year-relationship with Picasso, Francoise Gilot left him and wisely managed to move on living a long intensive life. I totally admire Gilot for her emotional intelligence and strong-will. She is now in her late 90s and still pursuing career in painting while at the same time having authored a number of best-sellers.
The book contains some of Gilot and Picasso’s paintings, along with a few portfolios of theirs and the kids.
Picasso’s styles of paintings altered according to the changing era and his various relationships with new discoveries and people. While being mostly known as a painter, Picasso also tried his hands on sculpturing, stage design, poetry, playwright and more. Witnessing his genius masterpieces, the source of his devilish personality came to make much more sense.
I’ve never really come across a nice guy by nature who is able to pull off what the selfish ones get to accomplish. But knowing Pablo Picasso a little bit more through Francoise Gilot’s perspective has given me a much deeper insight to the life of creative people. And whether he was quite devilish in his pursuits or not, I can’t deny the fact Pablo Picasso was a master in art.