Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, stage designer, poet and playwright who spent most of his adult life in France. Regarded as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, he is known for co-founding the Cubist movement, the invention of constructed sculpture, the co-invention of collage, and for the wide variety of styles that he helped develop and explore. With such an impressive resume, he is the topic of many books, movies, and TV shows. I highly recommend these:
I do not understand why I have never heard of or seen this movie. Every art teacher in the world should show this movie to their classes and every Picasso exhibit and museum should have this in their gift shop! This 75 minute documentary shows Picasso create 20 artworks. Unless you have watched the film, you’ve never seen the art that Picasso creates because they were all intentionally destroyed upon the conclusion of filming. The film captivated me from the very first moment of the film until the very last. I wanted to rewatch it the second it ended. Sometimes I buy movies and wonder if I will ever watch them a second time — question whether purchasing it was the right decision — that is not the case with this film. It might be the only movie I own worth keeping.
After viewing the National Geographic Genius series on Picasso (see below), I became interested in Francoise Gilot. She wrote her firsthand account of life with Picasso, having his children, his association with other prominent artists, political figures, and his philosophy on art and living. Utterly fascinating, authentic, and genuine, this book peeks behind the curtain of the daily life of Picasso. Despite their relationship difficulties, she still writes about Picasso in a respectful and warmly entertaining way. Understanding him as a womanizer adds depth and meaning to his paintings; hence, I recommend this book. You’ll definitely look at his work in a new light and perchance discover a new artist in the process, Gilot.
Last Spring, National Geographic released their second Genius series on Picasso. Antonio Banderas played the older Picasso wonderfully. He earned a nomination for best lead actor in a series at the Emmys, SAG Awards, and Golden Globes. The entire series was riveting to me. It starts with Picasso’s birth and then the series continues to dramatize his life for 10 episodes. I loved the acting, sets, costumes, and most of all the story-telling. If you missed the series, you can stream it (for a fee), or you can buy the DVD (see below).