That's the face of a guy with a bunch of Picassos nobody knew about. Ha! Take that, Art World. It's the Holy Grail all over again ('ees already got on, you see!! It's a very niiiice one, too!!). Pierre Le Guennec, my retired French electrician brother, already got 271 of 'em, actually. The great master gave him a box of them, he says, after what must have been the best installation of some switches, ever, in a handful of Riviera maisons.
Not to be out-Frenched by a Frenchman, the French are not amused, and have, in fact, accused Monsieur Le Guennac of being too French, promptly impounding the artworks and launching an inquiry. This, after the upturned nose of Picasso heir and estate administrator Claude Ruiz-Picasso smelled something afoul.
I suspect what was really bothering him was his amateur Frenchness, and/or growing up in arguably the largest artistic shadow of the 20th Century. I mean how much attention is Dad going to give your homemade Pinewood Derby voiture if he's busy sculpting this?
But back to Monsieur Le Guennac and his femme, Danielle, who appears none too happy, herself.
Now, their $60 million garaged nest egg has been scrambled by an establishment that refuses to believe a couple of pensioners could possibly have come by these artworks in the manner they say they did--that the artist gave it to them.
Perhaps it was payment. Perhaps Pablo didn't have time to go to L'Ah-Tay-Em, that afternoon. Perhaps he was not exactly in his right mind--it was the 70's afterall and so few people were. Whatever the reason, Baby Claude and his elitist brethren are attempting to right the horrid wrong of the working homme possessing more of the pie than is seemly. “I leave it to the justice system to shed light on the matter. We ourselves are certainly not acting for our own profit. We’re not in need,” said Claude... What dude needs apparently, is a sense of humor. He could have just said "Thanks! Hey thanks for coming forward and showing me a major pile of my Dad's work that we didn't know about---that's really cool, actually. A lot of people are going to appreciate this. Let's figure something out that compensates you and your wife for your stewardship, and also exhibits these newfound treasures as soon as possible. Want some coffee?"
Ah. if only he were wholly French, he'd appreciate the irony, put on a black silk shirt and light up a Gauloise while he moved on in life...
Thanks for reading, and please remember that even if the emperor wears no clothes, and you decide to disrobe, too, then you're pretty much naked and they'll just fine you for indecent exposure. Blaiser sez: Keep your black silk shirt handy at all times.
* Do feel free to nominate this to the Pro-Am Blogger Association for their 2010 "Worst.Sentence.Ever" award.
Pierre Le Guennec images: (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)