The private life and public demons of Pablo Picasso have fueled numerous biographies and films-but this is the first memoir from a family member descended from the iconic painter's first marriage. Picasso's granddaughter Marina witnessed firsthand the humiliation and destruction of her father Paolo, Picasso's son, and the suicide of her brother Pablito. By the time her grandfather died, Marina was filled with such anger that she tried to refuse her share of the inheritance-to free herself of the Picasso legacy. Her story is passionate, painful, and powerful: an unsparing, unflinching account of the brilliant man who once said "to make a dove, you must first wring its neck."
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Pablo Picasso showed a lifelong fascination for monsters, populating countless paintings and drawings with their hideous forms. To judge by his granddaughter Marina's anguished memoir, he might have found their model in the mirror.
In this highly impressionistic account, Marina Picasso writes of life with a man who set impassable boundaries "between the inaccessible demigod and us." And with a vengeance: Picasso terrorized his son, Marina's father, who took refuge in downward-spiraling alcoholism, his ambition crushed. "To make a dove," Picasso once wrote, "you must first wring its neck." The grandchildren fared little better; they provided Picasso only with a little local color, just as women provided him with sexual prey, and in the end everyone in her grandfather's life, Marina writes, wound up as a victim, "sacrificed to his art."
Many books have portrayed Pablo Picasso unfavorably, but this is the closest we have to a fly-on-the-wall account of the artist in his cruel prime. The picture isn't pretty, but it is captivating. --Gregory McNameeAbout the Author:
Marina Picasso is the granddaughter of Pablo Picasso. She is the founder of several charitable organizations that help underprivileged children in Vietnam.
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