Picasso: Creator and Destroyer

  • by Arianna Stassinopoulos Huffington
  • Narrated by Wanda McCaddon
  • 19 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This landmark biography penetrates the barriers of legend to bring to full and intimate life a man whose burning passions - for painting, women, and ideas - were matched by a compulsion to invent reality in his life no less than in his art. Here is the tragic story of a man who, from his teenage passion for a gypsy boy to the chilling bitterness and betrayals of his old age, was unable to love and was driven to dominate and humiliate the women - and men - who fell under his hypnotic spell.
Drawing on a wealth of startling revelations, including the vivid memories of Picasso’s daughter Maya and the heretofore untold recollections of Françoise Gilot, who shared his life for ten years and bore two of his children, the author has stripped bare the romantic myths to reveal, in all its volatile complexity, Picasso’s lifelong struggle between his power to create and his compulsion to destroy.
Arianna Stassinopoulos Huffington is a writer, lecturer, broadcaster, and cofounder of the news Web site the Huffington Post. She is the author of the best-selling biography Maria Callas: The Woman Behind the Legend and The Gods of Greece. She lives in Houston, Texas, and Santa Barbara, California.

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What the Critics Say

"The Picasso of Huffington’s book is a wretchedly flawed genius, sadistic and treacherous, a liar who betrayed friends and colleagues.… It is, in short, the kind of story for which gossips - and scriptwriters - would kill." (People)
"Picasso’s prolific creativity, Huffington argues, was fueled by his brutal candor and studied indifference to people and to social convention." (Atlantic)
"Huffington…has written an astonishing biography, a shocking portrait of a man driven by a compulsive need to destroy even as his creativity burst forth." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Biased, Subjective and Unsubstantiated.

The thesis of this books is that Picasso was a serial misogynist and user of people. Yes, the book contains some tenuous evidence to support the thesis, but mostly consists of conjecture and unsubstantiated conclusions about Picasso's psychology.

Picasso was one of the most noteworthy artists of the 20th century who completed over 50,000 works of art during his lifetime, but this book isn't about that. At worst, it was written to undermine that monumental achievement; at best, it is the subjective musings of a pretentious woman concerned only with perpetrating her naive opinion of this man's psychology and behavior on the masses. This book is so blatantly written to support the author's agenda that it should not be categorized "biography." I was hoping to hear a well-researched account of Picasso's life and times...but instead I listened to a non-artist, non-psychologist sit in judgment of a long-dead man who made some of humanity's great artwork. I don't doubt he was flawed, but I prefer to draw such conclusions myself, rather than blindly accept Arianna Huffington's analysis.

It's a shame that this is the only "biography" of Picasso on Audible. Don't buy this book expecting even a semi-objective account of Picasso's life, but if you'd like to hear Arianna Huffington describe a terrible person, destroyer of people (particularly women) and souless man who also happened to be one of the great artists of all time, then this book is for you.
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- Terry Masters

Fairly well written but depressing

This book is well written in that it is informative and insightful of the painter's life. However, beware that Picasso himself led the life of an over indulged child who never grew up. He was perhaps the first pop-star. I had a hard time getting through it, sort of like reading about Justin Beiber in that in retrospect of his life his actions become predictable and pathetic and his mission is not about art but only about himself. He embodied so much of what is wrong in society and much of art today. I've seen good paintings by him in person and wanted to look fairly at what he brought to the table: Seems like a net loss to me.
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- Greg

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-22-2012
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.