Almost everyone has heard in one form or another the quote by Picasso, saying that “every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up”. However, in terms of discussing Picasso’s amalgam of creative talent and perfect mastership of self-PR and marketing, we can think of yet another saying of his: “An artist is a person who creates something that can be sold. A good artist is the person who actually sells what he had created” (Antliff, p.390).
An unbeatable argument in favor of the opinion that Picasso is an amazingly successful commercial artist is the fact that his work is currently the most expensive artistic item ever sold. In 2010, Christie’s sold his “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust” for almost 107 million dollars, which is an unprecedented feature. Also, Picasso’s works carry a notorious fame of being the most often stolen and replicated works of art ever. On replicas it can only compete with da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa”.
One of the distinctive features of Picasso’s art legacy is its obvious division by chronological criterion. In his lifespan, Picasso has experienced many sudden turnarounds and unexpected twists of fate, and each time he hailed it with a new style of artistic expression. The periods of Picasso’s life and work include the so-called Blue period, the Rose period, the Africa-inspired period. Everyone knows that Picasso was one of the people who stood behind the development of cubism as a trend. Unlike many artists like Van Gogh who led a miserable and poor life and died almost a beggar, Picasso managed to create a brand dedicated to himself during his laborious times. It seems to our contemporaries that he knew the principles of market behavior and public relations quite well. Picasso knew how to make his works not only artistically perfect, but also meeting the social demand of that time. Lots of insight and intuition are needed for that.
He also ingeniously defended his right to paint in the manner characteristic for him, even if his close environment criticized him. His arguments with them were full of unpredictable wit and discreet wisdom. For instance, lots of people have heard about the occasions when one of Picasso’s friend gave him a destructive criticism speech telling that Picasso’s paintings are useless because they don’t depict the reality quite accurately: instead of painting a round face, he drew it as a multitude of cubes and triangles, which does not look like a regular human face. Replying to that, Picasso asked his opponent to show him the picture of that man’s wife. After several seconds he uttered: “Now I can see. Your wife is five inch high and very thin”. Thus he demonstrated the limitations that the majority of people has when it comes to evaluating art.
The topic of drug abuse and drug addiction also added extra interest to the issue of life and art of Picasso. His wife, a Russian ballet dancer Olga Khokhlova, claimed he had used different types of drugs occasionally, and sometimes n quite serious streaks. In addition to that, Picasso became really well-known for his active sexual life and insatiable appetite in this sphere (Dore, p.160). Eccentric tricks of Picasso were despised and frowned upon by many, but he liked attention of the press, and for maintenance of interest to himself he accomplished reckless from point of ordinary logic acts rather often. He was the real master of the stage and could go for the most risky step, if only it was caught up by the enthusiastic public. The painter insisted on trained the world to hisown extravagance. The hysterical component of his personality, which usually closely related to sexual, showed up herein. The psychiatrist Charles Yung saw the signs of schizophrenia in the works of the artist. The scientist explained his point of view as follows: a schizophrenic "creates works, instantly giving out the phenomena removed from senses. This piece of work leaves spectator apathetic or flusters him with paradoxes, insensibility and grotesque uncertainty. Picasso belongs to this group".
This painter, movable shocking maniac force, created more than three hundred works a year. So Picasso in any way will cannot be burned a burner of life. The poet Erenburg reminisced of him: "He works every day from a morning to night. It is impossible to say about him, that he is industrious, — he is truly furious in-process".