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Picasso, the vampire

May 26, 2012
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Picasso, the vampire

Here’s a fun art story about the Romanian sculptor Constantin Brâncuși and Pablo “Art is theft” Picasso, from John Richardson’s A Life of Picasso: The Triumphant Years, 1917-1932 (Vol 3).

Brancusi, who’d had several of his sculptural ideas ripped off from Pablo, “was anything but an admirer of Picasso or his work”:

[He] disapproved of [one of] of Picasso’s fundamental characteristics—one that was all too familiar to the latter’s fellow artists and friends—his habit of making off not so much with their ideas as with their energy. “Picass is a cannibal,” Brancusi said. He had a point. After a pleasurable day in Picasso’s company, those present were apt to end up suffering from collective nervous exhaustion. Picasso had made off with their energy and would go off to his studio and spend all night living off it. Brancusi hailed from vampire country and knew about such things, and he was not going to have his energy or the fruits of his energy appropriated by Picasso.

Lynda Barry has a bit where she talks about choosing to hang out with werewolves instead of vampires. I tried to find it online, but all I found was this bit, which I think Brancusi would’ve dug:

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