Picasso doing the laundry and hanging the drapes

A new painting exhibit by Toronto artist Eric Rosser imagines a more laid-back Pablo

Hear Brian Bethune in conversation with the artist about the conception of some of the paintings

As much as they might admire him as an artist, a lot of women have a bone to pick with Pablo Picasso, titan of modern art and misogynist tutti misogynist. When, during an 2011 stay in the south of France, Toronto painter Eric Rosser fell in love all over again with the master’s works, he heard that from a lot of women: Picasso could only do what he did because he had a long line of female drudges to pick up after him, wipe his children’s bottoms and make his meals. It was all enough to inspire Rosser to a labour of love (and irony) called Domestic Picasso: a series of oil paintings, on exhibition from June 8 at Toronto’s Gladstone Hotel—mere blocks from the Art Gallery of Ontario’s massive Picasso show—depicting the master taking care of family business. Playing off famous Picasso paintings and iconic photographs of the artist, Rosser’s images—available in a sumptuously designed book with a foreward by critic John Bentley Mays that will be on sale at the exhibition—show, among other poignant moments, Picasso changing diapers, helping neighbour ladies hang drapes, taking out the trash and wondering what to cook for dinner. What valuable life lessons the man himself missed out on.