Picasso was a misogynistic douchebag

Pablo Picasso, Bust of a Woman (Dora Maar), 1938

Unpopular opinion: Picasso was overrated.

I studied graphic design at college and frequented the art department where his work was copied and analysed. My opinions of him then were neutral. But as my interest in modernism has grown, my thoughts on his work have gone in the opposite direction. His depiction of women began to irk me as I read interpretations of his pieces and similar works under the “Cubist” guise. Along with the fetishisation of the “primitive”, it felt less like art and more like exploitation. And today, I read this article by Jason Kottke.

He referenced a piece by Cody Delistraty in the Paris Review which itself referenced Picasso’s granddaughter Marina Picasso. In her memoirs, she opened up about how her family struggling under the shadow of his artistry. “He needed blood to sign each of his paintings: my father’s blood, my brother’s, my mother’s, my grandmother’s, and mine. He needed the blood of those who loved him.” Many family members and women close to him (former wives and mistresses) killed themselves after his death. His actions towards women were abhorrent.

“Women are machines for suffering […] For me there are only two kinds of women, goddesses and doormats.”

 

— Picasso to his mistress, Françoise Gilot in 1943. He was 61 and she was 21.

My ignorance of Picasso as a person – stemmed from my lack of interest in his art – meant his misogyny passed me by. But that’s how society works when it comes to abusive men marked as “geniuses”; disgusting acts are misattributed as momentary transgressions. Picasso physically, verbally, and emotionally abused women, cheated on his wives and had sex with a minor (whose mother accepted the affair and “welcomed her daughter’s seducer as a friend”).

Calling his work was overrated isn’t to denounce his horrific behaviour. It allows for scrutiny his art. His misogyny has directly contributed to the paintings held in the highest esteem by fans and critics. Collectors have paid hundreds of millions of dollars for depictions of violence against women. As more sexual assault allegations emerge from men in Hollywood, we start to see a deep network of misogyny and abuse from men who treat women like sub-humans. Some of these revelations were disclosed and ignored. Woody Allen is revered despite his repeated predatory. So does Roman Polanksi. Harvey Weinstein continued his career while sexually abusing women. These scumbags use the labour and spirit of women to gain power and control in a system tailor-made for them and them only. As more people bravely speak out about their abuse, it’s time we look again at these highly-regarded figures.

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9 replies to “Picasso was a misogynistic douchebag”

  1. Daniel says:

    His good qualities outweigh the bad ones!
    He lived in another age.
    maybe if you live in the same generation you would be the same as him!
    It’s so easy to judge when you live in another generation.
    Hypocrite!

    Now talk about Cardi b

    Sorry my bad english.

    1. Luke Alex Davis says:Author

      Not an excuse. Misogyny is misogyny.

  2. Daniel says:

    People celebrate his art not his sins.

    I’ll bet you’re one of those people who judges a man of stone age by today’s standards

    Famous people are sinners…Just like us

    Virginia Woolf was a bad person… but people talk little about it

    Cardi b the same thing

    He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

    Hate the Sin Love the ART

    1. Luke Alex Davis says:Author

      My opinion shouldn’t affect how you love his art. Go do that. No one is stopping you.

  3. Daniel says:

    Your opinion does not affect me at all.
    The art of picasso is forever.
    Nothing you say will ever change that.

    His misogyny has directly contributed to the paintings held in the highest esteem by fans and critics. Collectors have paid hundreds of millions of dollars for depictions of violence against women. As more sexual assault allegations emerge from men in Hollywood, we start to see a deep network of misogyny and abuse from men who treat women like sub-humans.

    This is so disrespectful to people who appreciate his Art.

    It’s so funny because you’re a basquiat fan…
    Picasso was one of Basquiat’s most important artistic heroes
    why do you appreciate the art of a person who was inspired by misogyny art?

    1. Luke Alex Davis says:Author

      Why are you still talking if my opinion didn’t affect you?

  4. Daniel says:

    I don’t have to agree with you to respect your opinion!
    I was trying to understand your way of thinking.
    But you don’t have arguments.
    Peace and Love Brother

  5. Andreea says:

    The only reason he was a mysoginistic pig was the fact that he had money$$$. If he was a poor schmuck he wouldn’t have gotten away with very much. He would have been alone. Women lined up to take abuse bc they might get some wealth and notoriety like a spotlight shined on them.They were somebody abused. They were not famous before they were with him.

    1. Luke Alex Davis says:Author

      No woman deserves abuse. Period. That attitude excuses it and just enables abusers. And there are many men without money who are still alone and misogynists. Male serial killers who target women are known for being “loners”.

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