Thursday, 19 February 2009

Fighting with Picasso (again)

One summer, not long after the incident of the 'bull fight' with Pablo, I spent a few mad weeks on the Riviera on the piss with Hemingway and Fitzgerald. I had neither the drinking stamina of those literary giants nor the constant desire for fistycuffs that dogged them both like a beligerant corner-man. When the fights were upon them I would take myself to the beach for a spot of bird watching.

One afternoon I came accross Pablo posing just above the wet line, he was in the company of Dora Maar and another young woman who appeared to be dressed as an English maid. Picasso was in the blue and white Breton shirt he had stolen from my laundry basket and which, to him, had become ubiquitous.

I was pretty mad at the Spaniard at that time, he had stolen all my blue paint when he had last visited me. I suspect he wrapped the tubes and tins in the Breton shirt to hide them from the concierge.

I approached him and reproached him at the same time, teasing him about his stature and age and the youthfulness of his companions. Pulling Dora to her feet I set off with her in a merry waltz while singing (at the top of my voice) 'Little white bull'. Pablo and the other girl picked up parasols and proceeded to chase us down the beach waving them in the air all the while screaming Catalan insults. What a scene we made.

A young Scottish artist called Jack Vitterano (or similar) was on the beach with his easel. He quickly knocked off a sketch or two.

As the gendarmes led me from the scene I yelled at Picasso: "What a preposterous little man you are... You look like nothing more than a dancing butler!"

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