3 Answers

  1. No. As is so often the case with all sorts of conspiracy theories and urban legends, “repentance”is not a good idea. Picasso got out of the usual editorial error, after which the fiction began to pass off as the truth because they really wanted to.

    In 1951, the Italian writer Giovanni Papini published the novel II libro nero, which tells about the travels of the Scottish millionaire Gogh, and consists, among other things, of fictional interviews with famous people-Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, Henry Ford and Pablo Picasso. The interviews turned out to be memorable, even if completely implausible-but these are exactly the words that a person who is looking for confirmation of their own opinions is ready to believe in the truthfulness of which.

    A year later, a Washington Post columnist found a quote from the novel in a Paris newspaper and quoted it as the words of Picasso:

    “Admitting himself to be “a public entertainer” exploiting as best he could “the foolishness, the vanity and the greed” of his contemporaries, Picasso recently confessed that he merely sought to please master and critic with the “new, the strange, the original, the extravagant, the scandalous … the less they understood them the more they admired me.”

    The refutation was not long in coming and was published in the very next issue of Art News (3), but who cares. The quote immediately sold out in small reprints and appeared here and there in many translations, taking advantage of the special demand of propagandists — the Franco regime used the quote to undermine Picasso's reputation as a communist. Even Papini's public statement that the interview was a fiction didn't help (4). The citation continued, and the newspapers gave refutations, but in vain: the quote survived to the Internet, and although detailed information about its source is available on many fact-checking sites (not to mention the banal Wikipedia), see above for those who are interested.

    The story is generally sad. But it can teach us how easily people let themselves be deceived by something they are already prepared for inwardly-and they are more willing to believe in a quack artist than accept that there is something in a museum that they don't like.

    1. Giovanni Papini, “Il Libro Nero: Nuovo Diario di Gog” (Firenze, Vallecchi, 1951).
    2. The Washington Post, 3 августа 1952: Four Books About Art: Picasso Gave His ‘Silly’ Era in Painting a Blow, (Several books reviewed by Sterling North), страница B7, колонка 4.
    3. Art News, сентябрь 1952, страница 13.
    4. http://archive.spectator.co.uk/article/2nd-may-1998/27/fake-picasso

  2. No, that's not true.

    The artist spent the last 12 years of his life in a villa in the town of Mougins on the Cote d'Azur in the company of his second official wife, Jacqueline Rock. According to the publication inAccording to The New York Times, residents of the neighboring town of Vallauris, where he also managed to live at one time, held a festive party on October 25, 1971, to which they were going to call the hero of the occasion. However, Picasso did not like reminders of his age very much, and therefore he had previously spoken negatively about the celebrations on the occasion of his 80th and 85th birthday. The same thing happened now. Picasso closed the shutters all over the house, told the staff to tell the guests that he was traveling, and completely ignored his own birthday. Even a delegation from the French Communist Party, which was dear to Picasso's heart, including the famous writer Louis Aragon, went to Paris after three days of unsuccessful attempts to get into the artist's house. Dozens of paparazzi turned their cameras in the direction of the villa, waiting for the cherished silhouette. Thus,Pablo Picasso did not give any speeches in those days and apparently did not give interviews.

    In the West, the artist's recognition appears in the press long before 1971. For example, in an article in The Washington Post on August 3, 1952, journalist Sterling North wrote: “The Paris papers are excited. This story was picked up by several American publications, including Quick. Describing himself as an “entertainer of the public”, exploiting as much as possible the “stupidity, vanity and greed” of his contemporaries, Picasso recently admitted that he simply sought to please the masters and critics with “new, strange, original, extravagant, scandalous [works]… the less they understood them, the more they admired me.”

    In the following years, other quotes from the sensational interview appeared in a number of art history publications. And in December 1968, the famous American magazine Life dedicated a double issue to Picasso, including a short confession of the master.: “When I'm alone, I don't have the courage to think of myself as an artist in the great and ancient sense of the word. Giotto, Titian, Rembrandt were great painters. I am just a public entertainer who understood his time and made the best use of the stupidity, vanity, and greed of his contemporaries. My confession is bitter, more painful than it may seem, but its merit is that it is sincere.”

    However, this quote contrasts somewhat with the impression that can be formed from some other interviews with Picasso. The Spaniard has never shown himself to be a particularly modest person. In particular, it is known that when the surrealist poet Paul Eluard said about him: “He writes like God or the devil,” Picasso chose the first option:”I am God.” The confessional interview does not fit in with this image. And not by chance, because it is completely fictional.

    Back in 1931, the famous Italian writer, poet and literary critic Giovanni Papini created the satirical novel “Gog”. Its title character keeps a diary, which is an interview with many famous personalities of his time. Many years later, in 1951, already paralyzed and blind, Papini wrote a sequel to his novella entitled “The Black Book. Gog's New Diary”. Among the heroes were Hitler, Marconi, Dali, Picasso and other celebrities. And although the Italian did not want to mislead anyone, his book was sorted into quotes by the most serious experts. So, one of the pseudo-Freud's statements was included in an essay called “The Unknown Freud”, published in 1993. A similar fate awaited Gogh's fictional interview with Pablo Picasso. Already in the following year, 1952, his translation was reprinted in Paris newspapers, after which the aforementioned article appeared in The Washington Post. Four years later, Papini died, but his legacy continued to live an independent life. After the editors of Life magazine found out about a curious mistake made by its journalists, in January 1969, a refutation appeared, including the story of the origin of the quote.

    However, it was too late. The quote continued to conquer the world and even now, in the digital age, excites the minds of numerous users of social networks. It is not known who first decided to tie it to the 90th anniversary of Pablo Picasso, but the fact remains that it belongs to the pen of the Italian writer of the first half of the XX century Giovanni Papini.

  3. No, it's not true

    this is the greatest artist of the twentieth century

    and about the entertainment of rich people, he said, because he was absolutely honest with himself. And he had a period where he replicated himself for the sake of money ))

    this happened to many masters, but he was the only one who admitted it

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