Marina Picasso-A Stark Contrast
Cannes, France. A city filled with all of the beauty that is the French Riviera. Beaches playing host to travellers looking to enjoy “the good life” even if just for a short visit. Cannes is home to many exciting events including the International Film Festival where millionaire movie stars and celebrities walk the red carpet in plain view of the tourists. Neighbouring cities like Monaco and St. Tropez add to the mystique and glamour of the south of France where yachts the size of hotels sit quietly, just off shore.
For the past three years, every September, I have been invited to exhibit my paintings in Cannes “Artistes du Monde” show on the waterfront and spend some time living in this beauty. The Patron of this exhibition is none other than Madame Marina Picasso, granddaughter of the great Pablo Picasso. She selects the artists as well as the paintings that will be shown for four days in this prestigious centre in the heart of Cannes. My first trip there was in 2013 and I did not know what to expect. My daughter and I spent a few days on the beach and seeing the sights before opening night where we would meet Madame Picasso. I don’t know what I thought the woman related to this icon would be like, but I was surprised to see this lovely, quiet and unassuming lady, a stark contrast to her grandfather. She politely shook hands and chatted with every artist encouraging conversations about their artwork. Afterwards I learned that her inheritance was largely used to open orphanages around the world.
Pablo Picasso…the great artist who took what he wanted in life, no matter who was affected by his decisions. The life of an artist is a different life. Often questioning oneself, but relentlessly moving forward, regardless of what happened yesterday. The highs are euphoric, but the lows can be devastating. None of these personality traits seemed to be passed on to his granddaughter. My admiration for her grew with every moment I spent with her over those four days, culminating in a dinner on the beach, a perfect ending to a great week.
Since then, I have seen her every September and with each visit to Cannes I have become more captivated. The last trip out, I felt as if I was beginning to belong there. A level of comfort setting in, knowing the area so well and catching up with friends I have made. Madame Picasso is truly an inspiration to all she meets, living quietly with a vision to helping the less fortunate, with little regard to personal gain.