Grandson refutes ‘selfish Picasso’ jibes
11 February 2004
MADRID – Pablo Picasso “was not stingy or selfish, and he did not manipulate women,” according to a grandson of the Spanish artist, it was reported Wednesday.
Olivier Widmaier has just published a biography of his famous grandfather that calls into question the artist’s unfavorable reputation.
Widmaier is the grandson of Marie Therese Walter, whom the painter met in Paris in early 1927, when she was just 17.
Widmaier, who lived surrounded by his grandfather’s paintings and countless mementos but never met him, said his fascination with the artist began when Picasso died, on 8 April 1973.
“On that day, everything changed, when I heard on the news that he was an exceptional person who had invented 20th-century art. Afterward, I started asking myself many questions, because some incredible things were being said about him and his family right after his death,” Widmaier said.
Decades after Picasso’s death, and with a clear notion that Picasso was far from a saint, Widmaier decided to write a book about his grandfather.
“I have always heard that he was guilty, but the only thing he was guilty of was of making us think. Had he been innocent, he would have never been the interesting man he was. Yes, he was guilty, but in the good sense of the word,” said the author, a legal scholar.
Widmaier is looking to counterbalance another biography, one written by Marina, daughter of Paul, Picasso’s son by his first wife, Olga Khokhlova, in which she accuses her grandfather of leaving them nearly destitute.
In his book, Widmaier says prevailing ideas about Picasso and his women are false. “Women were very important to him, and you would think he two-timed them, but it wasn’t like that. They succeeded each other in time.”
The author also debunks the myth that Picasso was stingy. “He never stopped giving. He was very generous, only he never called a photographer to capture the moment. He compensated his ex-wives well.”
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news