Picasso and the star system

Pablo Picasso’s real rise to fame came after World War II.
28 January 2016
Vue de l’exposition Picasso.mania, scénographie bGc studio © Rmn-Grand Palais / Photo Didier Plowy, Paris 2015
Following his involvement in the French Communist Party and the Mouvement pour la paix (peace movement), he became a key political and intellectual figure during the post-war period. His celebrity grew as a result of multiple retrospectives in France, Europe and the United States, as well as films such as Henri-Georges Clouzot’s The Mystery of Picasso in 1955, his sumptuous residences on the increasingly stylish Côte d’Azur, and his love life. Picasso was also skilled at managing the media and his image – he portrayed himself as an artist in his seventies but still young at heart, bare-chested or dressed in Breton-stripe shirts and espadrilles. He was approachable, yet untouchable. His friendships with many photographers, including Lucien Clergue, David Douglas Duncan, André Gomez, Edward Quinn and André Villers, led to magnificent publications giving readers glimpses of his everyday life. He created multiple personalities, each of which reflected a different aspect of his art: the potter, the millionaire, the friend to Jacques Prévert and Jean Cocteau, the young father, the grandfather, the artistic genius and the indefatigable swimmer.

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