Picasso's Confession

"From the moment that art ceases to be food that feeds the best minds, the artist can use his talents to perform all the tricks of the intellectual charlatan. Most people can today no longer expect to receive consolation and exaltation from art. The 'refined, 'the rich, the professional 'do-nothing, 'the distillers of quintessence desire only the peculiar, the sensational, the eccentric, the scandalous in today's art. I myself, since the advent of Cubism, have fed these fellows what they wanted and satisfied these critics with all the ridiculous ideas that have passed through my mind. The less they understood them, the more they admired me. Through amusing myself with all absurd farces, I became celebrated, and very rapidly. For a painter, celebrity means sales and consequent affluence. Today as you know, I am celebrated, I am rich. But when I am alone, I do not have the effrontery to consider myself an artist at all, not it the grand old meaning of the word; Giotto, Titian, Rembrandt, Goya were great painters. I am only a public clown – a mountebank. I have understood my time and have exploited the imbecility, the vanity, the greed of my contemporaries. It is a bitter confession, this confession of mine, more painful than it may seem. But at least and at last it does have the merit of being honest."

Pablo Picasso, 1952


  1. Now if McCain could admit the same thing. (Bush isn't this smart.)

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  3. I think the McCain legacy overshadows the man and handicaps him extensively.

    Ditto for Bush, but Bush doesn't seem to suffer from his failures in the severe and acute fashion that McCain does. Or perhaps it is as you say and Bush is just a moron.

  4. At least he was honest.

    For real art worth enjoying, one should spend much time at http://artrenewal.org/, the center of the storm for the new appreciation for representational art of the finest kind. There is so much at this site, from museum content to recommended schools, that it would take a very, very long time to go through it all.

    God bless,

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  6. I had a link to it in the sidebar but perhaps I should write up a review of the site.

    The work of the new "neo-classicists" is breathtaking.

  7. I had never heard this confession before. If true, it changes my entire opinion of Picasso -- for the better, of course.

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  9. It isn't real.

    The passage comes from Il Libro Nero, a book of fictitious interviews by Giovanni Papini, published in 1951. Papini also wrote interviews with Hitler and Cervantes.

    These, however, are:

    "I am a communist and my painting is a communist painting. But if I were a shoemaker, Royalist or Communist or anything else, I would not necessarily hammer my shoes in any special way to show my politics." (Interview with Jerome Seckler, 1945, Picasso Explains)

    "What is truth? Truth cannot exist. ... Truth does not exist. ... Truth is a lie." (Parmelin, Picasso: The Artist, His Model, and Other Related Works, 1965, p. 110)

    Picasso was a loser and you have every right to continue feeling that way.

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