A friend and I went to see the Picasso exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery a while ago. It was definitely one of the best exhibits I've seen in a long time. The exhibit was called "Picasso and His Muses" and it focused on the role of women in his work and life. His many women were the fuel that kept him producing his vast collection of work - they were the wind beneath his wings so to speak. I left the gallery with a feeling of both awe and dread. The images were disturbing and intriguing and obviously produced by an artistic genius who was also a prick when it came to relationships. I came home and read this interesting article about the women who loved him:
The exhibit stayed with me for days. It made me think of the narcissistic tendency that many "great" men have to use people as their "narcissistic supply" - to elevate them as long as they provide the energetic foundation for their success and then get bored and toss them away. I found this excerpt taken from the memoirs of one of Picasso's wives very revealing- no wonder my awe was mixed with dread!
“One day when I went to see him (Picasso), we were looking at the dust dancing in a ray of sunlight that slanted in through one of the high windows. He said to me, 'Nobody has any real importance to me. As far as I'm concerned, other people are like those little grains of dust floating in the sunlight. It takes only a push of the broom and out they go.'I told him I had often noticed in his dealings with others that he considered the rest of the world only little grains of dust. But I said, as it happened, I was a little grain of dust gifted with autonomous movement and who didn't therefore need a broom. I could go out by myself."... "I'm considerering leaving you, I said to him, once. He laughed "Nobody leaves a man like me. Nobody leaves Picasso"
― Françoise Gilot, Life with Picasso (She is known as the lover and artistic muse of Pablo Picasso from 1944 to 1953, and the mother of his children, Claude Picasso and Paloma Picasso. )