Friday, August 28, 2015

Picasso and Dora: Take I

I love reading about the lives and work of artists. Here's another really good book of this type that I finished reading a few weeks ago: James Lord's Picasso and Dora: A Personal Memoir (New York: Fromm International, 1994; hardback published in 1993). 

Among the many real characters breathed back into life, there are three principals: James Lord (1922-2009), Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) and Dora Maar (1907-1997). Not far behind is Françoise Gilot, who even now in 2015 is still very much alive and kicking at 93 (born November 26, 1921).

Dora Maar, one of Picasso's key -- and romantically doomed -- muses, has some of the best quips and observations in the book.

Of Picasso: "'He doesn't know how to stop making things,' she said. 'It must be terrible for him. Of course, it's terrible for us as well.'" (page 107).

Of Picasso: "'It's simple,' Dora said . . . 'He would submit to anything to be able to keep on painting, and he knows that what matters in the end is not whether people say good things or bad things about you. What matters is to be talked about.'" (page 118).

And: "'I felt so alone I got into a taxi and told the driver to take me out of Paris. The trees were like balloons ready to float up in the sunrise . . ." (page 149). 

Because it's based on Lord's notebooks and scribblings made at the time things were happening, Picasso and Dora has an exceptionally crisp and intimate feel.

(To be continued . . .) 

Today's Rune: Partnership. 


Barbara Bruederlin said...

That does sound like an interesting read! I quite like Dora, at least based on those quips. Picasso obviously subscribed to the notion that there is no such thing as bad press.

Charles Gramlich said...

I suppose I've always been more interested in the lives of writers, then musicians, then military figures. But I do like to read good biographies. I should put this on my list.

jodi said...

Erik-I love memoirs and I love art, so this sounds perfect!