“A genius as an artist, [Pablo Picasso] was often a monster in his relationships – especially with women – because of his controlling, devouring personality. ‘When I die,’Picasso predicted years before the filming of Titanic, ‘it will be a shipwreck, and as when a big ship sinks, many people all around will be sucked down with it.’
When Picasso died in 1973, at the age of ninety-one, his prediction came true. Three of those closest to him committed suicide (his second wife, an early mistress, and a grandson), and several others had psychiatric breakdowns. ‘He amazes me,’ said his friend, sculptor Alberto Giacomett. ‘He amazes me as a monster would, and I think he knows as well as we do that he’s a monster.’ Indeed, Picasso referred to himself as ‘the Minotaur,’ the mythic Cretan monster that devoured maidens.
One mistresss, Marie Therese, described how Picasso set about painting: “He first raped the woman and then he worked.” Another told him, ‘You’ve never loved anyone in your life. You don’t know how to love.’ Picasso himself was brutally blunt,, ‘Every time I change wives I should burn the last one. Then maybe I’d be rid of them. They wouldn’t be around now to complicate my existence.’
Picasso’s destructiveness was rooted in his childhood but was reinforced by his early acquaintance with Nietzsche through friends in Barcelona. ‘Truth cannot exist…truth does not exist,’ he used to mutter. ‘I am God, I am God.’”
- From Os Guiness, “The Meaning of Truth,” in Belief: Readings on the Reason for Faith.
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