My lavishly well-connected but naïve New York lawyer Arnold Weissberger, over a wonderfully French brunch at Le Chantilly, on my April 5th birthday, God knows how long ago, asked in some movingly sincere pain, ”Michael! What does the world see… in Pab-lo Pi-cas-so?”
At the time, as a young and promisingly successful actor in New York, I muttered, in rather intimidated tones, “I really have no idea, Arnold.”
Now I do!
Now I know why Pablo Picasso was made so undeservingly famous, wealthy and increasingly ungrateful.
Picasso was a member of the French Communist Party from 1944 till the end of his life in 1973!
From his fashionably depressing “Blue Period” to the Grand Guignol female monsters he made out of women, in a cross between Picasso Surrealism and Picasso Sadism, the Great Spanish Bull and Bully was a Red!
No Cosa Nostra thug rolled around French and Catholic Europe with greater arrogance and insensitivity than this Spanish darling of New World Order Communism.
Picasso didn’t have merely an agent to sell his paintings and a publicist to increase their prices; he had a legion of bullies better known as the International Communist Party.
Had I known what I know today, I could have given Arnold an earful that would have carried us through lunch, through dinner and on to the next open bar! East German Communism, Bertolt Brecht and Lotte Lenya’s “Next Whiskey Bar” comes to mind.
Working backwards in Picasso’s life, from his death to the beginning of his manipulatively depressing Blue Period (1901-1904), the dinner he was sharing on the day of his death held the key to his ultimately myopic but powerfully remunerative Communism.
When offered a glass of wine on that evening, Picasso declined for the sake of his health.
If a supposedly great artist doesn’t know, before it happens, at least the year of his death, whatever vision he’s selling has blinders on it.
At 70, and one day before my 71st birthday, I have a very good idea of the year in which I’ll die. I have no intention of sharing that detail with anyone. It is one of the few secrets I keep in a life that has been, at times, shamelessly naked.
Of course, my inner estimate of my personal doomsday can, at a moment’s notice, be changed.
Picasso was, I’m sure, a functioning alcoholic.
I have un-functionally shared that proclivity with Señor Picasso and know for certain that a return to wine would be my death. However, one must at least have some notion, or at least a sense of theater about one’s coming Big Exit.
In the Year of The Big Exit, someone like myself is actually entitled to a glass or two of wine!!
In that moment, he robbed himself of not only the privilege but the sacred obligation, which all liberated human beings have, to toast not only one’s own life but, most importantly, to toast Life itself.
Then again, being a decades-long Communist, Picasso would consider that Life itself has… well… entirely different meanings than my take on it.
In one of its many perfect performances, the genius of Sir Anthony Hopkins laid out Pablo Picasso for all to see in the film Surviving Picasso!
Rather like his portrait of Richard Nixon, Hopkins put the Shakespearean Canon to work and dredged up hints of Timon.
A very inferior Timon of Athens.
Its women-hating bitterness.
Whereas the Hopkins’ President in the film Nixon is pure Richard II.
Not, God forbid, Richard III. There are no similarities between Nixon and Shakespeare’s Richard III.
Mao Zedong is a Shakespearean Richard III.
Therefore it is no wonder that during Nixon’s meeting with Mao, he was metaphorically eaten alive.
Does that make Picasso himself Shakespearean in size?
Yes. It makes the 100 year-old Communism Shakespearean in its imperiously Roman size and Pablo Picasso one of Communism’s greatest salesman: a kind of Pandarus in Troilus and Cressida.
(Pandarus is a Trojan aristocrat who appears in stories about the Trojan War. In Shakespeare’s play, he is portrayed as an aged degenerate and coward, who ends the story by telling the audience he will bequeath them his “diseases”. – Source: Wikipedia.)