Picasso: Creator and Destroyer

Overview

The world knows him simply as Picasso, this century's towering artistic genius, a man whose creativity and magnetism made him a legend. But here Arianna Huffington unravels the romantic myths to present Picasso's lifelong struggle between his power to create and his compulsion to destroy.

The Picasso who emerges is a man of fathomless contradictions, at war with himself and with the universe.

"Shocking and controversial." (B-O-T Editorial ...

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Overview

The world knows him simply as Picasso, this century's towering artistic genius, a man whose creativity and magnetism made him a legend. But here Arianna Huffington unravels the romantic myths to present Picasso's lifelong struggle between his power to create and his compulsion to destroy.

The Picasso who emerges is a man of fathomless contradictions, at war with himself and with the universe.

"Shocking and controversial." (B-O-T Editorial Review Board)

Packed with juicy gossip and lurid sexual details, this is the explosive bestselling biography of one of the greatest artistic geniuses of our time. This controversial expose reveals in shocking detail the torments and passions of a man in love with life and art. Picasso has already spent 10 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and is a BOMC featured selection. Includes 32 rare personal photos.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When Picasso's eight-year-old sister died of diphtheria, he decided God was evil but took her death as an omen that he should become a painter. Later, the youthful artist, rebelling against his father, left home for a few weeks and moved into a brothel. Impulsiveness, rebellion, guilt and sexual energy drove Picasso as he gave form to his inner demons. He wielded his art as a weapon, exacting vengeance for the wives and mistresses who died, went mad or committed suicide. Huffington, author of Maria Callas, has written an astonishing biography, a shocking portrait of a man driven by a compulsive need to destroy even as his creativity burst forth. Based on interviews and primary sources, this intriguing and exhausting book lifts the veil of secrecy surrounding Picasso's sexual and personal sadism, his compulsive fears and self-identification with Christ. First serial to the Atlantic; BOMC featured selection. (June)
Library Journal
The life of Picasso contains rich material for an accomplished celebrity biographer. Huffington's literary credentials are appropriate, but this book too frequently shifts from insight to psychosexual patter. True, the artist's actions followed a Jekyll/Hyde spiral, culminating in alienation for many close to him. Yet despite her book's title, Huffington seizes chiefly on the dark side of genius; Picasso is examined in terms of his personal cruelties, with little offered to enlighten art history. Roland Penrose's biographies and Mary Mathews Gedo's Picasso: Art as Autobiography ( LJ 4/15/81) are better treatments. Still, because of its sensationalism this book will be sought by general readers in many public libraries. Paula A. Baxter, NYPL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671454463
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/26/1988
  • Pages: 558

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2002

    Picasso: Creator and Destroyer

    I've just finished reading Ms. Huffington's book 'Picasso: Creator and Destroyer.' It's clear to see Ms. Hiffington simply has her own agenda which has little to do with Picasso, the facts of his life or the art he left behind. If anyone is interested in a true biography of the artist and the revolutionary genius behind his incredibly enduring art, you won't find it within these pages. Ms. Huffington displays little understanding of his actual works or the process it took to make them. She has, infact, not included a single analysis of any of his pieces and little of their effects on world. Instead, she's chosen to write a biography which reads like a National Enquirer expose and shown little sympathy for the man or his legend. I came away from the book with the overwhelming feeling that Ms. Huffington is jealous of her illustrious subject and felt a need to nock him off his pedestal. Indeed, this is a pathetic trait in any author. I doubt that I would ever be able to take any of her other works seriously. This book can be best described as "Hogwash." My one star rating is based solely on the fact that this forum does not allow for zero stars.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2002

    Painful and depressing book to read.

    This is my first biography of Picasso to learn about him. What a mistake. The author is determined to portray Picasso as a total freak, a manipulator of people, selfish, and evil. So every detail is researched and maipulated to reveal his hypocritical life. The author is an expert in telepathic communication and so can easily read everyones thoughts, their real selves. It must have been a pleasure to write something like this, I mean, to try to totally denigrate another person, a person that is admired internationally, but reading it is depressing and leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Certainly not the first bio one would want to read.

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