Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Wearable Art, as in Picasso He'll Be on Golf Shirts, Sweatshirts . .

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Wearable Art, as in Picasso He'll Be on Golf Shirts, Sweatshirts . .

Article excerpt

YOU MAY have worn Ralph Lauren polo shirts, you may have splashed on St. Laurent Rive Gauche and you may even have given a Hermes tie or two to impress the boss.

But what you won't have done yet is wear the most chic name of all, the label that sums up all that is creative, colorful and controversial about our age. That's about to change.

The heirs to Pablo Picasso, the Spanish genius who died in 1973 at the age of 92, have reached agreement with a firm of Chicago-based manufacturers to market a series of products, from shirts to teacups, that will bear the master's name and, in many cases, carry reproductions of his best-known works.

Coyness, if not secrecy, surrounds the proposal, but the first goods are expected in shops in time for Christmas.

Jack Childers, president of Talent Enterprises Inc., the firm involved, has indicated that the first products will include T-shirts, sweatshirts, men's golf shirts and polo shirts.

The women's line will also include "blouses and skirts and ensembles." Childers' firm is also working on "porcelain and napkins."

The potentially lucrative deal has been a long time in the making, owing to a dispute within Picasso's family, which gave the impression that some of its younger generation seemed more interested in commercial exploitation of the images than in maintaining a seemly setting for such great works as "The Weeping Woman" or the early cubist masterpieces.

Picasso left a staggering number of works - 1,800 paintings, 1,200 sculptures, 7,000 drawings, 30,000 prints and 3,000 ceramics.

After the French government took 3,800 works in settlement of $80 million in death duties, the remainder was divided among his widow, three children, two grandchildren and a daughter-in-law. After the artist's death, the family fragmented.

Despite this, a French organization, SPADEM (Societe de la propriete artistiques des dessins et modeles) was given the job of granting reproduction rights on Picasso's works, and of chasing and prosecuting pirates who produced merchandise without authority. …

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