Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Village Sparky Owns 271 Picassos?

Picasso "study of a hand" oil

Click above to see some of the art on Liberation newspaper's website use BACK arrow button to return to blog
The South of France - Electrician Pierre Le Guennec, 71, and his wife, Danielle, have kept between $50 and $80 million worth of Picasso's artwork in their cupboard for forty years. Le Guennec installed an alarm system in Picasso's home in Cannes, when the artist was 90 years old. Artist Pablo Ruiz Picasso died at the age of 91 in 1973. This past September, the electrician called on Claude Ruiz Picasso, Picasso's son and administrator of his father's estate, to verify the artworks as being original Picassos. There is no question about their authenticity, but some oddities were noticed with the art and the man's story about how he received the art had two versions. Claude quickly filed a suit for illegal possession of art and called the police to have all 271 pieces confiscated from the couple's home as possible stolen property.

One version of the story is that Picasso personally gave Le Guennec the box, the other that Picasso's wife at the time, Jacqueline Roque, gave the electrician the box (actually a trunk). “Madame gave them to me. And if she gave them to me, he had to be aware of it.” Jacqueline Roque died in 1986. Other oddities: Picasso mostly gave away doodles on napkins or on scraps of paper to friends. He also was meticulous about cataloging, dating, numbering and signing every piece of art. Many of these works are undated, unsigned and don't have the final inventory that Picasso demanded of his oeuvre. Picasso's heirs say: the artist always wrote a dedication on his gifted artworks to friends and with the quantity and quality of these newly discovered pieces, why would Picasso give these away without doing any of the above?  The artworks were not reported as stolen at the time and have never been reported as stolen!

Yesterday the French newspaper, Liberation, broke this story in Paris and it spread like wildfire. Now "tout le monde" is buzzing about never-before-seen Picassos stashed in a box. This collection of artworks spans three decades, including works in the Blue, Rose and Cubist periods, his most treasured styles. There are 271 works: 30 lithographs, several portraits of Picasso's first wife, Olga Khokhlova, watercolors, oil paintings, collage art and 200 drawings, all created between 1900 and 1932, and all unknown to the art world until yesterday, (Monday, November 29, 2010). This will be reviewed and sorted out in court but Claude Picasso says the works will be inventoried, studied and protected during the legal process, he simply wants to make certain these works were not stolen from his aging father. The electrician, Pierre Le Guennec, is not charged with any crime and has denied any wrongdoing. He says he was just getting his estate in order. 

Picasso's art is the most stolen in the world, with 500 pieces currently being tracked down.  He is said to have created more than 20,000 works of art.

Next Road Trip,
Find McClard's!

Where is the best Bar B Q in America? Well, that's like asking what is the best piece of music every created! The answer is a matter of personal opinion and individual taste. "Greg Johnson and Vince Stanton, authors of Real BBQ, published by Harper & Row, logged almost 40,000 miles and visited more than 700 barbecue restaurants in search of the ultimate barbecue. An excerpt from their books states, 'McClard's, the top barbecue restaurant in Arkansas, boasts a sauce hot enough to make your lips feel like Mick Jagger's. It's a masterfully balanced amalgam of flavor and fire!' Johnson and Stanton further exclaimed, 'McClard's is one of the best in the nation.'"

Based on my personal opinion and individual taste: McClard's Bar B Q, established 1928 in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas, IS the best purveyor of smoked pork ribs and a classic chopped pork sandwich on this planet. The sides have not changed in 80 years, cold slaw, BBQ beans, fries and white bread. Their secret sauce can be called spicy and they also offer chopped beef and a crazy hot tamale spread. All meats are cooked and smoked in an old fashioned BBQ pit and everything is made from scratch, using original family recipes and prepared by hand.

This place is a classic, with neon signs and housed in an angular early to mid-century building. The local, state and regional media all say McClard's offers the best pork Bar B Q and The Food Network, The Travel Channel, Playboy, Southern Living Magazine, Willard Scott, President Bill Clinton and actor F. Murray Abraham among many, many other people and magazines all say eat at McClard's and you be the judge, it's the best! Put a little South in your mouth and order a Pork Rib Sandwich with extra sauce. (p.s. It comes open faced, you don't actually eat it like a sandwich.)

McClard's Understated Excellence
Go online to see more.

Until later,

A Picasso art sampler, click on each to view.
use BACK arrow button to return to blog
Self-Portrait - 1972

Until later,

© ARTS&FOOD,(ARTSnFOOD.blogspot.com) All rights reserved, © Copyright Jack A. Atkinson  2010 Under All International, Digital, Intellectual Property and Copyright Laws. Images © Copyright individual Creators, Lenders or Fabricators.


  1. WOW! Amazing info on Picasso's art and life. Makes him even more interesting, and us, even more curious and attracted to Picasso--the artist, and also the man. Everybody wants to know about the man behind the artwork, I think.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Also, I just wanted to mention that I enjoy your blog very much. It reveals, in a unique way, the art world and its history, something not always accessible to the common person. Through this blog, we get that chance, we get to learn about about the stories and lives behind artworks we so much love.
    Thanks again! Look forward to your future blog posts.

  2. I'd like to have just 1 of those 271 Picassos. Great Blog Jack. Love that McClard's.