HomeFC ORIGINALS‘Picasso, Abuser Of Women’: Why The Legendary Artist Faced Cancelation 50 Years...

    ‘Picasso, Abuser Of Women’: Why The Legendary Artist Faced Cancelation 50 Years After His Death

    Pablo Picasso, a name not never heard of in the community of artists, and it doesn’t limit to a certain type of artistry, bring them all. The artistic enigma has a canvas full of masterpieces and a personal life straight out of a soap opera, he never really lacked in the entertainment department. We’re talking about the man who redefined art, not just once but over seven decades, Dabbling in everything from painting to sculpture to ceramics, almost like he was trying to win an art Olympics, and if there was such a thing, he probably would’ve. 

    But even the moon has a darker side and Picasso was just a man of grey morals. Behind those bold brushstrokes and avant-garde sculptures lies that dark—Picasso-sized shadow, if you will. So keeping the mastery of colors aside, we’re diving into the messy chapter of the master’s life, and trust me, it’s not all romance and roses.

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    The Legacy Of A Controversial Icon

    Picasso with his wives
    Picasso with his wives- Olga Khokhlova (Back) and Jacqueline Roque (Front)

    Let’s start with the ladies. Picasso wasn’t just painting portraits, he was mastering the art of relationships—or should I say, complications. His marriages were like a new palette of color for him, he used them up for a portrait and into the bin it went. Olga Khokhlova and Jacqueline Roque along with many more of his lady lovers can testify to that. One of them is his own granddaughter (not the lover).  Marina Picasso’s 2001 book ‘Picasso, My Grandfather talks about the sick pattern of the great artist’s love affairs. It says, “He submitted them to his animal sexuality, tamed them, bewitched them, ingested them, and crushed them onto his canvas. After he had spent many nights extracting their essence, once they were bled dry, he would dispose of them.”

    Let’s not leave out those affairs—the infamous flings with Marie-Thérèse Walter (who was 17 while he was 45) and Dora Maar. The dude literary had girls fight for his attention in his studio while he painted, and I mean literal catfight. They would’ve loved some Taylor Swift but 1989 was a little too far. The sickness of Picasso’s grey mind should’ve been evident when he called the Walter-Dora fight, “one of my choicest memories”. He goes on to later leave these girls as well, putting Dora in a psyche ward (She really would’ve loved ‘TTPD‘). His next choice of shade glimmered in Françoise Gilot, with whom he shared two children. He never paid attention to them but all that animal sexuality had to show somewhere. In 1964 Gilot wrote a memoir titled ‘Life with Picasso’, which made him completely discard her and their children from his colorful life.

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    Picasso: The Misunderstood Artist Or Misogynistic Genius?

    Art students doing a silent protest at the Picasso Museum in Barcelona
    Art students doing a silent protest at the Picasso Museum in Barcelona

    The 2023 silent protest led by art teacher Maria Llopis at the Picasso Museum in Barcelona challenged the polished image of the master of imagination. The silent protest of those young art students was quiet in decibels but roared intention. They weren’t just admiring the paintings; they were challenging the very legacy of the man behind them.

    Decked out in T-shirts that boldly called out Picasso as an “abuser of women,” Llopis and her crew flipped the script on the romanticized image of the art world’s golden boy. They didn’t mince words, some T-shirts even read, ‘Picasso, Bluebeard’. Now if you know the tale of Bluebeard, you know how unforgivable his dark deeds were. And you know what? It was about time! No more sweeping things under the canvas! 

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    What Does Picasso Deserve – Celebration Or Condemnation?

    Picasso with Marie-Thérèse Walter (front) and Dora Maar (back)
    Picasso with Marie-Thérèse Walter (front) and Dora Maar (back) his wives

    Picasso wasn’t just a Casanova, he was a whole institution of emotional manipulation. His streak of romance makes Brad Pitt‘s dating history look like a Disney fairy tale. So here we are, half a century after his exit from the stage, trying to untangle the art from the artist. Was Picasso the undisputed art king of the 20th century? Or does his legacy get a big ol’ asterisk for questionable behavior in the relationship department?

    It’s a debate that’s as complex as his painting, covered in layers of brilliance and controversy. We’ll give credit where it’s due—Picasso was a creative force to be reckoned with but why couldn’t his creativity pour out without the emotional torture he succumbed his muses to? A man who called women “machines for suffering” shouldn’t be celebrated in the 21st century. Maybe it’s time for the art world to have a serious heart-to-heart about separating genius from, well, questionable character.

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    Akshita Singh
    Akshita Singh
    Akshita Singh is a Senior Content Writer at First Curiosity. She has been churning out content for 2 years. She's an avid reader and writer, fascinated by the works of Sylvia Plath, Franz Kafka, and Charles Bukowski. Akshita is also a poet herself, having written two poetry books titled ‘Made By Misery’ and ‘Deathbed’. Apart from goth literature, another thing that she enjoys is the real and fictional stories of Hollywood. She loves cinema and admires all works of art, be they delivered by actors or directors. So, keeping up with celebrity life comes as basic nature to her, something she loves knowing and informing others.

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