Picasso’s penis certainly did exist. He definitely had one. No doubt he enjoyed being with the women in his life, though Dora Maar – subject of one of his ugly Cubist portraits, claimed he ‘never really loved anyone’. Dora ended up in a psychiatric hospital. Mind you, when he first met her at Le Lapin Agile, she was playing chicken with herself, darting a sharp knife between the outspread fingers of her hand. Perhaps she was nuts in the first place?
Picasso is hailed as ‘a Modern master’ – ‘Father of Cubism’, but there were others who worked in the Cubist manner. Braque, Gleitzes, Metzinger and fellow Spaniard Juan Gris – to name a few. During the period of ‘High Cubism’, (around the time of the First World War), Gris’s work was comparable to or better than that of Picasso.
Art history posits Picasso (and his penis) as some sort of amiable old genius. Picasso obviously saw Gris as a threat to his own success prevailing upon Gertrude Stein (wealthy American benefactor) to curtail his monthly stipend- a lifeline in war-torn Paris. This makes Picasso more of a ‘see you next Tuesday’ than amiable old genius – in my estimation.
On one occasion, whilst walking through the streets of St. Tropez, a young artist sought advice from Picasso. I relate what allegedly took place, in this YouTube video …..
During the 80s, the Tate Gallery put on a show titled ‘Art of the Fascist Epoch’. It was interesting to see Picasso’s early drawings alongside those of known fascist sympathisers. His drawings were sensitive by comparison. Marketing hype generates success (in the West) and the mythology surrounding Pablo Picasso (and his penis) is plentiful.
At one point in Art History I hosted an exhibition of my work with a pop-up gallery in rain sodden Somerset. An elderly man came in and claimed when he was fourteen he actually met Picasso. He asked Picasso ‘why do you keep producing all this rubbish?’ to which the Modern master replied: ‘because the fools keep buying it’. Indicating cynicism characteristic of big money and ‘success’.
Art Markets place high value on Picasso’s early works – the Saltimbanques etc, which are more accessible and less ugly than the bulk of his Cubist output. If someone gave me ‘Portrait of Dora Maar’, I’d have a look at it, then flog it straight away.
‘Les Demoiselles d’Avignon’ that ground-breaking work by Picasso, proffers a bevy of mawkish tarts, beseeching attention. They all have Picasso’s eyes. Never mind the spatio-plastic codswallop, I still don’t like it. My own development on a similar theme (loose women in an English village) is much better! Titled ‘Les Demoiselles de Barrow Gurney‘ I have used photo reference, making a crazed, post-post Modern dissertation in paint, celebrating lewdness and all that is sinful, empowering my ladies through painterly narrative. Oh yes! and it includes a jizzing cock! Could it possibly be Picasso’s penis?
‘Les Demoiselles de Barrow Gurney’ is in mixed media on canvas board, 8ft x 4ft. It is for sale and can be purchased from this website for £9,500.00 gbp.
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