Francoise Gilot is one of my favorite artists ❤️. I was so happy to see her celebrating her 100 birthday in the New York Times this week. I had no idea that she lived right here in New York City. While Francoise is most known for living with Picasso in her early 20s, she is also an amazing artist and writer in her own right.
When I lived on the French Riviera in the late 90s, it was impossible not to be aware of her legacy, her beauty and her art. There was evidence of the years she spent with Picasso all over Antibes. Postcards of the two of them sold on every corner. Many times I tried to recreate those iconic photos on the beaches of the Cote d Azur with a parasol and goddess pose. However, I only knew part of the story… the glamorous part. Darker details lived just beneath the surface.
If you are in need of an inspiring story about a woman overcoming incredible odds and kicking a bunch of A double S, read about Francoise. After escaping an abusive relationship with Picasso, she went on to remarry twice, raise 3 kids, write a best selling memoir where she threw Monsieur Paintbrush’s derrière under the bus and her painting “Paloma à la Guitare” (1965), a blue-toned portrait of the artist’s daughter, one of two children she had with Pablo Picasso just sold at auction for $1.3 million. Boy do I wish that I had bought one of her paintings when I was living on the French Riviera. Happy Birthday Francoise!