“For me there are only two kinds of women: goddesses and doormats” – Pablo Picasso.
In this series of artwork-essays, Irene Lees explores the cultural imbalances between the sexes by directing her considerable mastery with a pen towards the many tumultuous relationships of one of arts most renowned womanisers. Through meticulous skill in research and application she addresses what some consider to be an ‘unpalatable truth’ about the much-loved Spanish artist, his treatment of the women at the centre of his life and work.
Dora Maar (1907-1997; with Picasso 1936-1944) Picasso's fifth muse. Born Henriette Theodora Markovitch, of Croatian and French descent. A talented artist and photographer, this Surrealist icon – powerfully portrayed by Man Ray – had a tragic air, caused, Picasso believed, by her inability to have children. Picasso was abusive to Maar, though, and often pit her against Walter in a contest for his love. Picasso's Weeping Woman (1937) depicts Maar crying. Their affair ended in 1943 and Maar suffered a nervous breakdown, becoming a recluse in later years. She ended her days surrounded by dust-encrusted relics of her time with Picasso. She took pictures of him working in his studio and also documented him creating his famous anti-war painting, Guernica (1937).